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Volume 15, Number 6—June 2009

Research

Lineage 2 West Nile Virus as Cause of Fatal Neurologic Disease in Horses, South Africa

Marietjie VenterComments to Author , Stacey Human, Dewald Zaayman, Gertruida H. Gerdes, June Williams, Johan Steyl, Patricia A. Leman, Janusz Tadeusz Paweska, Hildegard Setzkorn, Gavin Rous, Sue Murray, Rissa Parker, Cynthia Donnellan, and Robert Swanepoel
Author affiliations: University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa (M. Venter, S. Human, D. Zaayman, J. Williams, J. Steyl, C. Donnellan); National Health Laboratory Services, Pretoria (M. Venter); Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute, Pretoria (G.H. Gerdes); National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa (P. Leman, J.T. Paweska, R. Swanepoel); Chartwell Equine Clinic, Midrand, South Africa (H. Setzkorn); Karoo Veterinary Clinic, Colesburg, South Africa (G. Rous); Witbos Clinic, Midrand (S. Murray); Glen Austin Equine Clinic, Midrand (R. Parker)

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Table 1

Viral diagnostic findings, West Nile virus–infected horses, South Africa*

Case no. Date sample received Location Specimen Final diagnosis Results of tests for other viruses
SAE12/07 2007 Apr 23 Johannesburg, Sandton, Gauteng Plasma WNV IgM+ AHSV–, EEV–
SAE89/08 2008 Mar 3 Colesburg North Cape Plasma WNV IgM+ AHSV–, EEV–
HS101/08 2008 Apr 15 Tiegerpoort Pretoria, Gauteng Brain WNV PCR+, DNA sequencing L2, virus isolae WNV PCR+ Rabies–, AHSV–, EEV–, EHV–, flavivirus antigen in lumbar spinal cord section and in some gray matter axons (Figure 1)
M123/08 2008 May 8 Midrand, Gauteng Brain WNV PCR+, DNA sequencing L2 AHSV–, EEV–, EHV–
HS125/08 2008 May 26 Pretoria, Hammans-kraal, Gauteng Brain WNV PCR+, DNA sequencing L2 AHSV from spleen PCR+; AHSV from lung IHC+, lymph node IHC–, liver IHC–
SAE126/08 2008 Mar 7 Midrand, Gauteng Brain WNV PCR+, DNA sequencing L2 AHSV RT-PCR+, AHSV type 7; IHC EEV–, AHSV+, AHSV IHC+ (lung liver, heart)
SAE134/09 2008 Jul 18 Potchef-stroom, North-Western Province Serum WNV PCR+, DNA sequencing L2 AHSV–, EEV–, EHV-1 weak sero+

*WNV, West Nile virus, Ig, immunoglobuliln; AHSV, African horse sickness virus; EEV, equine encephalosis virus; EHV, equine herpesvirus; L2, lineage 2; –, negative; +, positive; RT-PCR, reverse transcription–PCR; IHC, immunohistochemistry.

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