Equine parvovirus‐hepatitis (EqPV‐H) research is in its infancy. Information regarding prevalence, geographical distribution, genetic diversity, pathogenesis and risk factors enhances understanding of this potentially fatal infection.
An article was recently published titled, "Active equine parvovirus‐hepatitis infection is most frequently detected in Austrian horses of advanced age" and authored by Marcha Badenhorst, Phebe de Heus, Angelika Auer, Birthe Tegtmeyer, Alexander Stang, Katharina Dimmel, Alexander Tichy, Jakub Kubacki, Claudia Bachofen, Eike Steinmann and Jessika M. V. Cavalleri.
In this cross-sectional study, the authors analyzed sera from 259 healthy horses and 13 healthy donkeys for the presence of EqPV-H antibodies and EqPV-H DNA (PCR). Associations between infection status, sex, age and concurrent equine hepacivirus (EqHV) infection were described. Glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH), gamma‐glutamyl transferase (GGT), bile acids and albumin concentrations were compared between horses with active infection and PCR‐negative horses. Phylogenetic analysis of the EqPV‐H variants was performed.
In horses, EqPV-H seroprevalence was 30% and DNA prevalence was 8.9%. One horse was co-infected with equine hepacivirus. No evidence of EqPV-H was detected in donkeys.
Horses over 16 years of age were eight times more likely to have active EqPV-H infection compared with 1– to 8-year-old horses, and were three times as likely to have active EqPV-H infection compared with horses 9–15 years of age.
Glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), bile acids and albumin concentrations were not significantly different between horses with active infection and those without.
The EqPV-H variants identified in this Austrian population of horses showed high similarity to sequences worldwide. No evidence of EqPV‐H was detected in donkeys.
Bottom line: EqPV-H antibodies and DNA are frequently detected in Austrian horses without associated hepatitis. The risk of active EqPV-H infection increases with age.
This open access article from the Equine Veterinary Journal is available at the Wiley online library here.