Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    A Point Mutation in a Herpesvirus Co-Determines Neuropathogenicity and Viral Shedding (2017)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Franz, Mathias
    Goodman, Laura B
    Van de Walle, Gerlinde R
    Osterrieder, Nikolaus (WE 5)
    Greenwood, Alex D (WE 1)
    Viruses; 9(1) — S. 1–7
    ISSN: 1999-4915
    DOI: 10.3390/v9010006
    Pubmed: 28075374
    Institut für Virologie

    Robert-von-Ostertag-Str. 7-13
    Gebäude 35
    14163 Berlin
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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    A point mutation in the DNA polymerase gene in equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) is one determinant for the development of neurological disease in horses. Three recently conducted infection experiments using domestic horses and ponies failed to detect statistically significant differences in viral shedding between the neuropathogenic and non-neuropathogenic variants. These results were interpreted as suggesting the absence of a consistent selective advantage of the neuropathogenic variant and therefore appeared to be inconsistent with a systematic increase in the prevalence of neuropathogenic strains. To overcome potential problems of low statistical power related to small group sizes in these infection experiments, we integrated raw data from all three experiments into a single statistical analysis. The results of this combined analysis showed that infection with the neuropathogenic EHV-1 variant led to a statistically significant increase in viral shedding. This finding is consistent with the idea that neuropathogenic strains could have a selective advantage and are therefore systematically increasing in prevalence in domestic horse populations. However, further studies are required to determine whether a selective advantage indeed exists for neuropathogenic strains.