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A 5-year-old donkey was referred with a history of one day pyrexia, lethargy and respiratory distress. First signs of a respiratory disease in the form of coughing were shown four months ago. The patient had tachypnea with increased respiratory effort and was in moderate body condition. Laboratory findings included leukocytosis, hyperfibrinogenemia and severe hypoxemia. Thoracic ultrasound examination showed disruption of the pleural surface and thoracic radiographs revealed signs of a mild interstitial pattern. The patient died peracutely before further diagnostic tests could be performed. Gross pathology showed multifocal, firm, well-demarcated, pale nodules throughout the lung. Overall the lung was voluminous with multifocal rib impressions. Histologically a severe, chronic-active, fibrous interstitial pneumonia with numerous syncytial cells, hyperplasia of type II pneumocytes and acute alveolar wall necrosis was evident. The clinical signs, necropsy findings and lack of other pathogens corresponded well with EMPF and therefore samples of frozen lung tissue were transmitted for further virus examination. The PCR testing for EHV-5 was negative. Subsequently a pan-herpesvirus nested PCR with specificity for the DNA polymerase gene was conducted. Sequencing of the obtained second-round PCR product revealed 100% identity when compared with Asinine herpesvirus type 5 sequences by the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool. To the authors0 knowledge, this is the first report of an AHV-5 infection leading to EMPF-like symptoms in a donkey in Europe.