Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Chronic equine hepacivirus infection in an adult gelding with severe hepatopathy

ORCID
0000-0003-3875-0707
Affiliation
Institute for Experimental Virology, TWINCORE Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research, Medical School Hannover (MHH), Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Hannover, Germany.
Tegtmeyer, Birthe;
GND
1151588350
ORCID
0000-0003-4970-1943
Affiliation
Clinic for Horses, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Hannover, Germany.
Echelmeyer, Julia;
Affiliation
Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.
Pfankuche, Vanessa M;
GND
133538087
ORCID
0000-0002-2592-6868
Affiliation
Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.
Puff, Christina;
ORCID
0000-0002-3564-1014
Affiliation
Institute for Experimental Virology, TWINCORE Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research, Medical School Hannover (MHH), Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Hannover, Germany.
Todt, Daniel;
Affiliation
Institute of Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
Fischer, Nicole;
Affiliation
Liphook Equine Hospital, Liphook, United Kingdom.
Durham, Andy;
GND
1055053271
ORCID
0000-0002-6488-7670
Affiliation
Clinic for Horses, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Hannover, Germany.
Feige, Karsten;
ORCID
0000-0001-8151-5644
Affiliation
Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.
Baumgärtner, Wolfgang;
ORCID
0000-0002-3654-9965
Affiliation
Institute for Experimental Virology, TWINCORE Centre for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research, Medical School Hannover (MHH), Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Hannover, Germany.
Steinmann, Eike;
ORCID
0000-0002-8575-7402
Affiliation
Clinic for Horses, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Hannover, Germany.
Cavalleri, Jessika-M V

BACKGROUND:Equine hepacivirus (EqHV) in equids represents the closest homologue to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infecting humans. A majority of HCV infected patients develop a chronic course of infection leading to liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver failure. However, in horses mostly transient mild subclinical infections are reported for EqHV to date. OBJECTIVES:EqHV can be involved in chronic liver diseases of horses. METHODS:Biochemical parameters in serum samples were measured. Viral load was determined using qPCR. Next generation sequencing (NGS) of serum was performed. Liver tissue was stained with haematoxylin and eosin and analysed for viral RNA with fluorescent in situ-hybridization. RESULTS:The horse showed symptoms of severe hepatopathy and was chronically infected with EqHV. Viral RNA was detectable in the liver during disease. To rule out other infectious agents NGS was performed and showed the highest abundance for EqHV. The identified virus sequence was similar to other circulating equine hepaciviruses. CONCLUSIONS:EqHV can be associated with liver disease in horses. Whether it causes the disease or contributes in a multifactorial manner needs further investigation.

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