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Glycoprotein G deletion mutants of equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV1; equine abortion virus) and EHV4 (equine rhinopneumonitis virus).

Huang J, Hartley CA, Ficorilli NP, Crabb BS, Studdert MJ

  • Journal Archives of virology

  • Published 01 Aug 2005

  • Volume 150

  • ISSUE 12

  • Pagination 2583-92

  • DOI 10.1007/s00705-005-0607-9


Glycoprotein G (gG) deletion mutants of EHV1 and EHV4, designated EHV1DeltagG and EHV4DeltagG, were constructed. The growth characteristics of the EHV1DeltagG mutants were similar to the parent virus. All of the EHV4DeltagG mutants grew more slowly in cell culture and produced plaques of different morphology including smaller size. The yields of both gG deletion mutant viruses in cell culture were similar to the parent viruses. Sequencing of the genes flanking gG, Southern blot, PCR and western blot analyses of the mutant viruses demonstrated that the deletions were as expected, except for EHV4DeltagG mutants, which in addition to deletion of gG contained unexpected deletions in the adjacent down stream gene ORF 71 (glycoprotein 2). Antisera to EHV1DeltagG and EHV4DeltagG neutralised the respective mutant and the parent viruses to the same titre and these antisera could be distinguished from antisera to the wild type viruses in a gG antibody detection ELISA. The mutant viruses may be useful as vaccine candidates and the deletion of gG may act as a marker to distinguish vaccinated from the naturally infected horses.