EHV-8 Found in Israeli Donkey

EHV-8—the new name for asinine herpesvirus 3—was found for the first time in Israel.

Researchers report the first known case of equid herpesvirus 8 in Israel. iStock/Foto Zlatko

According to a 2018 article in PLOS ONE, equid herpesvirus 8 (EHV-8) was formerly known as asinine herpesvirus 3, an alphaherpesvirus that is closely related to the equid herpesviruses 1 and 9 (EHV-1 and EHV-9). “The pathogenesis of EHV-8 is relatively little studied and to date has only been associated with respiratory disease in donkeys in Australia and horses in China.”

In a September 2020 article in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, Israeli researchers reported the isolation of equid herpesvirus 8 from a rescued donkey that suffered severe post-castration complications. “Despite intensive treatment, the donkey deteriorated and was euthanized. Postmortem virological analysis revealed the isolation of an herpesvirus that is closely related to herpesviruses reported from donkeys and horses in Australia, China and Ireland, causing respiratory disease in donkeys and abortion in mares. To our knowledge this is the first report of this equid herpesvirus in Israel. The potential significance of this herpesvirus to the equid population in Israel needs further investigation.”

The Israeli researchers reported:

  • Molecular diagnosis and isolation of equid herpesvirus 8 from visceral and CNS tissues of a donkey
  • Equid herpesvirus-8 was isolated for the first time in Israel, 2019
  • High similarity between equid herpesvirus 1 and equid herpesvirus 8 glycoprotein B

Editor’s note: Thanks to Dr. Rob Holland in Kentucky for his assistance in researching this topic and providing me information!

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