Clinical, haematological and biochemical findings in foals with neonatal Equine herpesvirus-1 infection compared with septic and premature foals

Gillian Perkins, Dorothy M. Ainsworth, H. N. Erb, F. Del Piero, M. Miller, Pamela A. Wilkins, J. Palmer, M. Frazer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A retrospective multicentre study comparing historical, clinical, haematological, acid-base and biochemical findings of foals with Equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) infection, septicaemia or prematurity was performed to determine if early diagnosis of EHV-1 foals was possible. Fifty-three foals were studied and were assigned to one of 2 groups: herpes positive (n = 14) or herpes negative (n = 39). The latter group included 20 septic, 11 premature, and 8 premature and septic foals. The presence of herpes antigen was confirmed by immunoperoxidase histochemical staining of tissues from necropsied foals. A nonparametric statistical analysis followed by a backwards elimination logistic regression was performed to establish a model at a P value of <0.05. All herpes positive foals died, while 47% (9/19) of the septic foals survived. Based upon our analysis, herpes positive foals were more likely to have total white blood cell counts less than 3 × 109/l and to be icteric as compared to the septic and premature foals. Despite profound hepatic necrosis in the herpes positive foals, liver enzymes were not elevated and were not significantly different from the controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-426
Number of pages5
JournalEquine veterinary journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1999



  • EHV-1
  • Foal
  • Herpes
  • Horse
  • Neonate
  • Prematurity
  • Septicaemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine

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