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Microbiol Immunol. 2005;49(2):167-79.

Natural recombinant between equine herpesviruses 1 and 4 in the ICP4 gene.

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Department of Applied Veterinary Sciences, United Graduate School of Veterinary Sciences, Gifu University, Japan.


Equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) is a pathogen causing rhinopneumonia in young horses, abortion in mares, and myeloencephalitis in adult horses. Two types, EHV-1 P and EHV-1 B, have recently been dominant among 16 electropherotypes. EHV-1 P and EHV-1 B viruses were compared by long and accurate polymerase chain reaction (LA-PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Differences in restriction sites were found to be focused in ORF64, which encodes the infected cell protein 4 (ICP4), and downstream of the ICP4 gene. The 3 ' -end and downstream of ICP4 gene of EHV-1 B were found to be replaced by the corresponding region of EHV-4, indicating that EHV-1 B is a naturally occurring recombinant virus between progenitors of EHV-1 P and EHV-4. This is the first report showing a natural interspecies recombinant in alphaherpesviruses.

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