Effects of human alpha interferon on experimentally induced equine herpesvirus-1 infection in horses

Thomas L. Seahorn From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Seahorn, Carter, Martin, Scrutchfield, R. Martens) and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (J. Martens), College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, The Texas Veterinary' Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, TX 77841 (Crandell), and Amarillo Cell Culture Co, Amarillo, TX 79160 (Cummins).

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G. Kent Carter From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Seahorn, Carter, Martin, Scrutchfield, R. Martens) and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (J. Martens), College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, The Texas Veterinary' Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, TX 77841 (Crandell), and Amarillo Cell Culture Co, Amarillo, TX 79160 (Cummins).

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Judy G. Martens From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Seahorn, Carter, Martin, Scrutchfield, R. Martens) and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (J. Martens), College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, The Texas Veterinary' Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, TX 77841 (Crandell), and Amarillo Cell Culture Co, Amarillo, TX 79160 (Cummins).

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Robert A. Crandell From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Seahorn, Carter, Martin, Scrutchfield, R. Martens) and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (J. Martens), College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, The Texas Veterinary' Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, TX 77841 (Crandell), and Amarillo Cell Culture Co, Amarillo, TX 79160 (Cummins).

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Michael T. Martin From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Seahorn, Carter, Martin, Scrutchfield, R. Martens) and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (J. Martens), College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, The Texas Veterinary' Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, TX 77841 (Crandell), and Amarillo Cell Culture Co, Amarillo, TX 79160 (Cummins).

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Wilbur L. Scrutchfield From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Seahorn, Carter, Martin, Scrutchfield, R. Martens) and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (J. Martens), College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, The Texas Veterinary' Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, TX 77841 (Crandell), and Amarillo Cell Culture Co, Amarillo, TX 79160 (Cummins).

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Joseph M. Cummins From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Seahorn, Carter, Martin, Scrutchfield, R. Martens) and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (J. Martens), College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, The Texas Veterinary' Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, TX 77841 (Crandell), and Amarillo Cell Culture Co, Amarillo, TX 79160 (Cummins).

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Ronald J. Martens From the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (Seahorn, Carter, Martin, Scrutchfield, R. Martens) and the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (J. Martens), College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, The Texas Veterinary' Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, College Station, TX 77841 (Crandell), and Amarillo Cell Culture Co, Amarillo, TX 79160 (Cummins).

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SUMMARY

The immunotherapeutic effect of low-dose human alpha interferon on viral shedding and clinical disease was evaluated in horses inoculated with equine herpesvirus- 1 (ehv-1). Eighteen clinically healthy weanling horses, 5 to 7 months old, were allotted to 3 equal groups. Two groups were treated orally with human α-2a interferon (0.22 or 2.2 U/kg of body weight), on days 2 and 1 before inoculation with ehv-1, the day of inoculation, and again on postinoculation day 1. The horses of the remaining group were given a placebo orally on the same days. The horses were monitored daily for changes in body temperature and for clinical signs of respiratory tract disease. Blood and nasal swab specimens were collected daily for virus isolation. Blood was also collected at intervals throughout the monitoring period for evaluation of cbc, serum IgG and IgM concentrations, and antibody titers to ehv-1. Febrile responses, nasal discharge, viral shedding, changes in cbc, and an increase in antibody titers to ehv-1 were noticed in all horses after inoculation. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in mean values of the factors measured between treatment and control groups.

SUMMARY

The immunotherapeutic effect of low-dose human alpha interferon on viral shedding and clinical disease was evaluated in horses inoculated with equine herpesvirus- 1 (ehv-1). Eighteen clinically healthy weanling horses, 5 to 7 months old, were allotted to 3 equal groups. Two groups were treated orally with human α-2a interferon (0.22 or 2.2 U/kg of body weight), on days 2 and 1 before inoculation with ehv-1, the day of inoculation, and again on postinoculation day 1. The horses of the remaining group were given a placebo orally on the same days. The horses were monitored daily for changes in body temperature and for clinical signs of respiratory tract disease. Blood and nasal swab specimens were collected daily for virus isolation. Blood was also collected at intervals throughout the monitoring period for evaluation of cbc, serum IgG and IgM concentrations, and antibody titers to ehv-1. Febrile responses, nasal discharge, viral shedding, changes in cbc, and an increase in antibody titers to ehv-1 were noticed in all horses after inoculation. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in mean values of the factors measured between treatment and control groups.

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