Respiratory symptoms got you breathless? Try our equine respiratory PCR panel -- we test for 7 respiratory bacteria and viruses from 1 swab.

Neurological symptoms got you down? Try our equine neurological PCR panel -- we test for 5 neurological diseases from 1 CSF or tissue sample.

Diarrhea got you on the run? Try our equine GI / diarrhea PCR panel -- we test for 4 GI diseases from 1 fecal or swab sample.

Oh baby! Our equine breeding/abortion PCR panel tests for 5 diseases affecting breeding success from 1 swab or semen sample.

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For our international clients: Our DRY CARDS let you mail blood samples to Zoologix easily and cheaply from anywhere. Samples are small, light and stable at room temperature.

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Zoologix performs equine PCR tests for...

African horse sickness

Anaplasma phagocytophilum





Borna virus

Borrelia burgdorferi

Burkholderia mallei and pseudomallei

Clostridium difficile

Clostridium species

Contagious equine metritis (CEM)




Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE)

E. coli O157:H7

E. coli panel

Equine adenoviruses

Equine arteritis virus (EAV)

Equine hepatitis virus

Equine herpesvirus
type 1

Equine herpesvirus
type 2

Equine herpesvirus
type 3

Equine herpesvirus
type 4

Equine herpesvirus
type 5

Equine infectious anemia (EIA)

Equine parvovirus

Equine piroplasmosis

Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM)





Horsepox virus

Influenza type A

Japanese encephalitis

Lawsonia intracellularis


Lyme disease


Neospora caninum

Neospora hughesi


Potomac horse fever


Rhodococcus equi


Sarcocystis neurona

St. Louis encephalitis

Strangles (Strep equi)

Streptococcus pneumoniae




Taylorella equigenitalis

Theileria equi

Toxoplasma gondii


Trypanosoma equiperdum

Trypanosoma evansi

Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE)

Vesicular stomatitis

West Nile virus (WNV)

Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE)

Yersinia enterocolitica

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

Genetic tests for...

Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis

Equine herpes 1 PCR test
equine assay data sheet


Test code:
S0071 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of equine herpesvirus type I by real time polymerase chain reaction.

S0071 is included in P0013 - equine respiratory panel, in P0014 - equine neurological panel and in P0024 - equine breeding panel.


Equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) is a major cause worldwide of epidemic abortion, perinatal mortality, respiratory disease and neurological disorders in horses. EHV-1 is a member of the Alphaherpesvirinae subfamily that also includes herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 and varicella zoster virus (VZV). As with other herpesvirus infections, lifelong latency of the virus in the nervous system of the host occurs, and periodical reactivation of the virus can cause new outbreaks (Slater et al., 1994).

Although primary infection generates a humoral response and the production of neutralizing antibodies, infected animals do not develop long lasting protection against EHV-1 and remain susceptible to re-infection throughout life, although the severity of secondary infection is reduced.

Upper respiratory infection is the most common manifestation of EHV-1 infection. Commonly, young horses (weanlings, yearlings, and 2 year olds) have depression, poor appetite, nasal discharge and cough. If young horses are LOCATED or pastured together, many horses in the herd may experience disease from which they recover uneventfully. Disease may be mild or unapparent in older horses. Neurological signs occur infrequently as a result of EHV-1 infection; however, outbreaks of neurologic disease associated with fever, nasal discharge and cough have been reported in the USA and elsewhere. Neurologic signs may include incoordination that can progress to an inability to stand. Horses may be unable to urinate or may dribble small volumes of urine. Horses may have difficulty producing manure. Sometimes the neurologic signs are accompanied by cellulitis (inflammation or swelling of the limbs) and petechiae (small hemorrhages on the gums).

The transmission of EHV-1 from the mare to the foal is one of the major causes of spreading infection. Lactating mares having the potential to infect their suckling foals within 30 days of age. These foals can then spread EHV-1 to other foals within their group prior to and throughout weaning. The weaning process involves the separation of the foal from its dam and intensive human contact, placing foals under stressful conditions, a contributing factor in the reactivation of EHV. The virus can then spread through contact with other foals. Farm management practices such as routine handling of mares and foals and the mixing of paddock groups can also encourage the introduction and spread of EHV.

Vaccinated mares are still able to transmit EHV-1 to their unweaned unvaccinated foals, despite having received three vaccinations during the previous gestation. The vaccine may result in a reduction in the period of excretion of the virus, however it is not sufficient to prevent EVH-1 infecting new foals.

A diagnosis of EHV-1 abortion can only be made by postmortem examination of the fetus. EHV-1 is readily isolated from a wide range of tissues in aborted fetuses. Infection of endothelial cells in the uterus and placenta plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of abortion and in dissemination of the virus. Testing the mare's serum for antibodies is of little value, because virus-infected foals can be born from mares that show no evidence of recent antibody activity, and noninfected foals can be born from dams that do show recent antibody rises.

The virus can be isolated from pharyngeal or nasal secretions by culture. Isolation of the virus from respiratory secretions strongly suggests that the virus is the cause of the disease. However, this method is slow and has low sensitivity. Molecular detection by PCR can identify the virus in pharyngeal or nasal secretions. Blood cells can also be tested by PCR, with detection of the virus indicating that the horse is currently or has recently been viremic. However, it is important to note that a negative PCR test does not rule out EHV-1 as the cause of the disease, as viremia is intermittent.


  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical diagnosis of EHV-1 infection
  • Help ensure that horse populations are free of EHV-1
  • Early prevention of spread of this virus
  • Minimize personnel exposure to this virus
  • Safety monitoring of biological products that derive from horses

Slater, J. D., Borchers, K., Thackray, A. M. and Field, H. J. (1994) The trigeminal ganglion is a location for equine herpesvirus 1 latency and reactivation in the horse. J. Gen. Virol. 75: 2007–2016.

Specimen requirements: Nasopharyngeal swab, or 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) tube, or 0.2 ml CSF, or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen or fixed tissue.

Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.

For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain frozen in transit. See shipping instructions for more information.

Turnaround time: 2 business days

Methodology: Qualitative real time PCR

Normal range: Nondetected

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