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Viral Equine Encephalitis, a Growing Threat to the Horse Population in Europe?

Abstract : Neurological disorders represent an important sanitary and economic threat for the equine industry worldwide. Among nervous diseases, viral encephalitis is of growing concern, due to the emergence of arboviruses and to the high contagiosity of herpesvirus-infected horses. The nature, severity and duration of the clinical signs could be different depending on the etiological agent and its virulence. However, definite diagnosis generally requires the implementation of combinations of direct and/or indirect screening assays in specialized laboratories. The equine practitioner, involved in a mission of prevention and surveillance, plays an important role in the clinical diagnosis of viral encephalitis. The general management of the horse is essentially supportive, focused on controlling pain and inflammation within the central nervous system, preventing injuries and providing supportive care. Despite its high medical relevance and economic impact in the equine industry, vaccines are not always available and there is no specific antiviral therapy. In this review, the major virological, clinical and epidemiological features of the main neuropathogenic viruses inducing encephalitis in equids in Europe, including rabies virus (Rhabdoviridae), Equid herpesviruses (Herpesviridae), Borna disease virus (Bornaviridae) and West Nile virus (Flaviviridae), as well as exotic viruses, will be presented.
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Sylvie Lecollinet, Stéphane Pronost, Muriel Coulpier, Cécile Beck, Gaëlle Gonzalez, et al.. Viral Equine Encephalitis, a Growing Threat to the Horse Population in Europe?. Viruses, MDPI, 2019, 12 (1), pp.23. ⟨10.3390/v12010023⟩. ⟨hal-02425366⟩

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