Researchers Assess Prevalence of European Parvovirus-Hepatitis

Study: Equine parvovirus-hepatitis, a virus causing fatal liver disease that spreads via vaccines and plasma, has a high prevalence in Germany and probably other European countries.
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Researchers Assess Prevalence of European Parvovirus-Hepatitis
EqPV-H passes from one horse to another through blood contact, which can happen if a needle is used on more than one horse, said Eike Steinmann, PhD. | Photo: Alexandra Beckstett/The Horse
Equine parvovirus-hepatitis (EqPV-H), a virus causing fatal liver disease that spreads via vaccines and plasma, has a high prevalence in Germany and probably other European countries, say a group German scientists.

“We found 35% of horses positive for antibodies, meaning that they had contact with the virus at some point in the past,” said Toni Luise Meister, PhD, of the Department of Molecular and Medical Virology in the Faculty of Medicine at Ruhr-University Bochum, in Germany.

“Furthermore, 7% of the horses had virus genetic material found in their serum,” she said. “This indicates that those horses were infected with the virus at the time of sampling.”

DNA testing revealed that these infections were no longer “acute,” meaning the horses were hosting a virus but already had antibodies against it

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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