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J Virol. 2013 Jan;87(1):512-23. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02194-12. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Genomic characterization of Japanese macaque rhadinovirus, a novel herpesvirus isolated from a nonhuman primate with a spontaneous inflammatory demyelinating disease.

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Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Beaverton, Oregon, USA.


Japanese macaque rhadinovirus (JMRV) is a novel gamma-2 herpesvirus that was isolated from a Japanese macaque (JM) with an inflammatory demyelinating encephalomyelitis referred to as Japanese macaque encephalomyelitis, a disease that possesses clinical and histopathological features resembling multiple sclerosis in humans. Genomic DNA sequence analysis reveals that JMRV is a gammaherpesvirus closely related to rhesus macaque rhadinovirus (RRV) and human herpesvirus 8. We describe here the complete nucleotide sequence and structure of the JMRV genome, as well as the sequence of two plaque isolates of this virus. Analysis of the JMRV genome not only demonstrates that this virus shares a number of genes with RRV that may be involved in pathogenesis but also indicates the presence of unique JMRV genes that could potentially contribute to disease development. The knowledge of the genomic sequence of JMRV, and the ability to easily propagate the virus in vitro, make JMRV infection of JM an attractive model for examining the potential role of an infectious viral agent in the development of demyelinating encephalomyelitis disease in vivo.

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