Summary (continued)
The unrooted neighbour-joining tree was constructed using molecular evolutionary genetic analysis (MEGA) and bootstrap analyses were conducted using 1,000 replicate datasets. Evolutionary distances were computed using the maximum composite likelihood method. A NetNGlyc server analysis at the Technical University of Denmark (www.cbs.dtu.dk/services/NetNGlyc/) was used to predict N-glycosylation in GP5 sequences. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the new strain (GLD-LP-ARG), together with other strains previously isolated, belongs to the European group EU-1 but in a different branch. The new strain shows 99% nucleotide identity with strain A1 and 98.1% with the Belgian strain 08P178. Persistently infected stallions and their cryopreserved semen constitute a reservoir of EAV, which ensures its persistence in the horse population around the world. These findings reinforce the importance of careful monitoring of persistently infected stallions, as well as semen straws, by RT-PCR or test mating, in accordance with national regulations.