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New Parvovirus Associated with Serum Hepatitis in Horses after Inoculation of Common Biological Product

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


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  • Thomas J Divers
  • Bud C Tennant
  • Arvind Kumar
  • Sean McDonough
  • John Cullen
  • Nishit Bhuva
  • Komal Jain
  • Lokendra Singh Chauhan
  • Troels Kasper Høyer Scheel
  • W Ian Lipkin
  • Melissa Laverack
  • Sheetal Trivedi
  • Satyapramod Srinivasa
  • Laurie Beard
  • Charles M Rice
  • Peter D Burbelo
  • Randall W Renshaw
  • Edward Dubovi
  • Amit Kapoor
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Equine serum hepatitis (i.e., Theiler's disease) is a serious and often life-threatening disease of unknown etiology that affects horses. A horse in Nebraska, USA, with serum hepatitis died 65 days after treatment with equine-origin tetanus antitoxin. We identified an unknown parvovirus in serum and liver of the dead horse and in the administered antitoxin. The equine parvovirus-hepatitis (EqPV-H) shares <50% protein identity with its phylogenetic relatives of the genus Copiparvovirus. Next, we experimentally infected 2 horses using a tetanus antitoxin contaminated with EqPV-H. Viremia developed, the horses seroconverted, and acute hepatitis developed that was confirmed by clinical, biochemical, and histopathologic testing. We also determined that EqPV-H is an endemic infection because, in a cohort of 100 clinically normal adult horses, 13 were viremic and 15 were seropositive. We identified a new virus associated with equine serum hepatitis and confirmed its pathogenicity and transmissibility through contaminated biological products.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases (Print Edition)
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)303-310
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Animals, Cardiovirus Infections/veterinary, Drug Contamination, Female, Hepatitis, Viral, Animal/virology, Horse Diseases/virology, Horses, Parvoviridae Infections/veterinary, Parvovirinae/genetics, Phylogeny, Tetanus Antitoxin/adverse effects, Vaccination/adverse effects, Viremia

ID: 56411686