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Equine Multinodular Pulmonary Fibrosis in association with asinine herpesvirus type 5 and equine herpesvirus type 5: a case report

Helena Back1*, Anna Kendall2, Rodrigo Grandón3, Karin Ullman1, Louise Treiberg-Berndtsson1, Karl Ståhl1 and John Pringle4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Virology, Immunology and Parasitology, The National Veterinary Institute, Uppsala, Sweden

2 Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

3 Department of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health. Division of Pathology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

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Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2012, 54:57  doi:10.1186/1751-0147-54-57

Published: 25 September 2012


A standardbred gelding with a history of 10 days pyrexia and lethargy was referred to the Equine Hospital at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden.

The horse had tachypnea with increased respiratory effort and was in thin body condition. Laboratory findings included leukocytosis, hyperfibrinogenemia and hypoxemia. Thoracic radiographs showed signs of pneumonia with a multifocal nodular pattern, which in combination with lung biopsy findings indicated Equine Multinodular Pulmonary Fibrosis (EMPF). EMPF is a recently described disease in adult horses with clinical signs of fever, weight loss and respiratory problems. The pathological findings include loss of functional pulmonary parenchyma due to extensive nodular interstitial fibrosis which has been related to infection with the equine herpesvirus type 5 (EHV-5). In this case, lung biopsy and tracheal wash samples tested positive for both asinine herpesvirus type 5 (AHV-5) and EHV-5 using PCR assays. The horse failed to respond to treatment and was euthanized for humane reasons. Postmortem examination confirmed the diagnosis of EMPF. This case suggests that not only EHV-5 alone should be considered in association with the development of this disease.

Horse; Equine Multinodular Pulmonary Fibrosis; AHV-5; EHV-5; Lung