Keratitis and periocular lesions associated with equine herpesvirus-3 in a 3-month-old filly

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Abstract

Summary

A 3-month-old Quarter Horse filly presented with corneal ulceration in the right eye with extensive coalescing periocular ulcerations, erosions, and cutaneous crusts. Similar periocular lesions were present around the left eye, on the gingival mucosa, and on the cutaneous and mucosal surfaces of the lips. Based on the severity of the filly's corneal lesions, expense and duration of treatment, euthanasia was elected. Histologicalpost mortemexamination revealed numerous hyperplastic and/or dysplastic epithelial cells adjacent to areas of ulceration and erosion with intranuclear viral inclusion bodies. Equine herpesvirus-3 (EHV-3) was identified by polymerase chain reaction from the right cornea and lip. The virus was isolated from the right cornea, right eyelid and lip. The dam presented with multifocal to coalescing perineal vesicles. EHV-3 was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction from the vulvar lesions and the mare recovered spontaneously. This is the first case of EHV-3 corneal infection reported in horses and emphasises that EHV-3 should be included as a differential diagnosis for vesicular lesions involving the equine periocular and oronasal epithelium.

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