Genetic relatedness and pathogenicity of equine herpesvirus 1 isolated from onager, zebra and gazelle
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Equine herpesvirus 1 was isolated from an onager in 1985, a zebra in 1986 and a Thomson’s gazelle in 1996 in USA. The genetic relatedness and pathogenicity of these three viruses were investigated based on the nucleotide sequences of the glycoprotein G (gG) gene, experimental infection in hamsters, and comparison with horse isolates. The gG gene sequences of EHV-1 from onager and zebra were identical. The gG gene sequences of the gazelle isolate showed 99.5% identity to those of onager and zebra isolates. The gG gene sequences of EHV-1 isolated from horses were 99.9–100% identical and 98, 98 and 97.8% similar to gG from onager, zebra and gazelle isolates, respectively. Hamsters inoculated with onager, zebra and gazelle isolates had severe weight loss, compared with hamsters inoculated with horse isolates. The histopathological findings were related to the virulence of each isolate. The results indicated that EHV-1 isolates from onager, zebra and gazelle differ from horse EHV-1 and are much more virulent in hamsters.
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