What is equine herpesvirus?

It is estimated that equine herpesvirus (EHV) affects thousands of horses each year across the world.

The disease is a major welfare concern for horses and foals. It can strike any horse at any time, causing emotional, as well as financial strains, on horse owners and breeders around the world. Currently, there is no vaccine effective against all forms of the disease.

Equine herpesvirus can cause a seemingly healthy pregnant mare to suddenly, and without warning, miscarry her unborn foal. It can cause a horse which appears fit and well to suddenly show abnormalities when walking and within hours be unable to stand. It can also cause respiratory disease, similar to a cold, which can easily spread from horse to horse.The virus lies dormant and then re-emerges when an animal is later stressed, such as when transported or mixed with new horses.

 

Dr Neil Bryant researching equine herpes virus in the laboratory

We’re at the beginning of a very exciting and potentially ground-breaking vaccine development. A vaccine will be of global welfare benefit to all horses and would help control this serious and sometimes fatal disease.

Dr Neil Bryant
Dr Neil Bryant, EHV-1 Team Leader, Virology

Researching equine herpesvirus

Neil’s team are developing more efficacious EHV-1 vaccines to protect against the serious consequences of infection, namely abortion, neonatal foal death and neurological disease

Thanks to generous and major funding from

The Alborada Trust,
Coolmore Ireland,
EBM Charitable Trust,
Juddmonte Farms,
the Levy Board / Racing Foundation,
Niarchos (London),
Newsells Park Stud,
Paul Mellon Foundation,
Thompson Family Charitable Trust,
and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association,

in 2018 the AHT began a five-year research programme aimed at designing a modified live virus vaccine.

£50,000 The investment the AHT need in 2019 to develop further research in the field

Research lead

Dr Neil Bryant

Dr Neil Bryant

EHV-1 Team Leader, Virology

Neil’s team are developing more efficacious EHV-1 vaccines to protect against the serious consequences of infection, namely abortion, neonatal foal death and neurological disease

Read Dr Neil Bryant's bio