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Virus Res. 1994 Nov;34(2):115-26.

In vivo recombination of pseudorabies virus strains in mice.

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Institute for Animal Science and Health (ID-DLO), Department of Virology, Lelystad, The Netherlands.


We studied in vivo recombination of pseudorabies virus (PRV) by inoculating mice with non-lethal mutants that carry a small deletion or insertion in the thymidine kinase (TK) gene or the ribonucleotide reductase (RR) gene. After co-inoculation of mice with two different mutants, homologous recombination between the viral genomes resulted in the generation of wild-type PRV that was highly lethal for mice. Thus, recombination could easily be assessed by monitoring survival of inoculated animals. Our results demonstrated that recombination was only detectable when high doses of virus were used. Intragenic recombination was more efficient between mutations in the TK gene than between mutations in the RR gene. Efficient intragenic recombination in the TK gene occurred between mutations which were separated by as few as 266 nucleotides. When two mutants were inoculated with an interval of 2 h, recombination still occurred. No recombination could be detected when the viruses were inoculated at the same time but in separate parts of the body. When inoculated separately, none of the mutants tested could be isolated from the brains of mice. Virus could be recovered from the brain, however, after co-inoculation. Surprisingly, of these viruses 36-39% possessed the parental mutant genotype. This observation indicates that complementation enables these mutants to replicate in the brain and suggests that complementation may contribute to pathogenicity of PRV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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