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Equid alphaherpesvirus 9 outbreak associated with mortality in a group of grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi) housed in a mixed-species exhibit

Abstract : A herd of seven captive-born Grevy's zebras (Equus grevyi) experienced an outbreak of nasal discharge and sneezing. Clinical signs, including lethargy and anorexia, were severe and acute in three animals, including a 16-mo-old male that died within 48 h. Treatment of two severely affected zebras included valacyclovir (40 mg/kg PO), meloxicam (0.6 mg/kg IM/PO), and cefquinome (2.5 mg/kg IM q48h). An adult female improved rapidly, and clinical signs resolved within 48 h of treatment. Administration of valacyclovir pellets was very complicated in a 2-mo-old female, and death occurred within 48 h. Histologic examination of the two individuals that died revealed severe fibrinonecrotic interstitial pneumonia with prominent hyaline membranes and type II pneumocyte hyperplasia. Additionally, the 16-mo-old male presented systemic endothelial activation with vascular thrombosis and necrosis and mild nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis. Herpesviral DNA was detected in the lungs of both individuals by nested polymerase chain reaction. The nucleic acid sequence of the amplicons showed 100% similarity with previously published equid alphaherpesvirus 9 sequences. Three additional animals developed mild nasal discharge only and recovered spontaneously. The zebras shared housing facilities with other species, including white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata), and several antelope species. None of these animals showed clinical signs. Additionally, nasal swabs and whole blood samples were collected from cohoused white rhinoceroses (n = 3) and springboks (Antidorcas marsupialis, n = 3) as well as nasal swabs from cohoused reticulated giraffes (n = 4). Nucleic acid sequence from equid herpesviruses was not detected in any of these samples. The source of the infection in the zebras remains unclear.
Keywords : Grevy's zebras EHV-9
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 9:35:22 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 12:00:03 PM



Antoine Leclerc, Baptiste Mulot, Nicolas Goddard, Amélie Nicolau, Gabrielle Sutton, et al.. Equid alphaherpesvirus 9 outbreak associated with mortality in a group of grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi) housed in a mixed-species exhibit. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 2021, 52 (2), ⟨10.1638/2019-0109⟩. ⟨hal-03269480⟩



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