Serological and Molecular Investigation of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus and Equine Herpesviruses in Horses at Southwestern Saudi Arabia
- 1 Najran University, Saudi Arabia
Copyright: © 2020 Ali S. Alqahtani. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Host reservoirs other than dromedaries for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) still to be unknown. Equine Herpesviruses (EHVs) are widespread in equine populations worldwide. In this study, the presence of MERS-CoV, Equine Herpesviruses type 1 (EHV-1) and 4 (EHV-4) in horses in Najran, southwestern of Saudi Arabia was investigated. One hundred and thirty four blood samples collected from horses of different ages and sex. The samples tested for the presence of specific antibodies by ELISA and viral RNA and DNA by PCR. The ELISA results were positive for equine herpesviruses 1 and 4 with percent of 23.1 and 70.8% respectively; while all tested samples were negative for MERS-CoV. The PCR results showed that all samples were negative for all three viruses. As the history of the horses showed no previous vaccination or infection with equine herpesviruses, these results might refer to equine herpes subclinical infection. The results indicate also that horses were free from MESR-CoV infection.
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