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.
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,
EBM Charitable Trust,
the Levy Board / Racing Foundation,
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.