The Pathogenesis of MHV Nucleocapsid Gene Chimeric Viruses

  • E. Lavi
  • J. A. Haluskey
  • P. S. Masters
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 440)


A set of viruses in which various segments of the nucleocapsid (N) gene of MHV have been substituted with the corresponding segments of bovine coronavirus (BCV) by targeted recombination were analyzed for their biologic properties. Histology for organ pathology and plaque assay for viral titer analysis following intracerebral (IC) inoculation were studied. One chimeric virus (A1b85), in which only a small segment of the N gene was replaced, exhibited a phenotype similar to wild type MHV-A59. However, three of the chimeric viruses (A1b 106, A1b 112 and A1b 100) produced acute encephalitis and demyelination but without hepatitis following IC inoculation. Intravenous (IV) and intrahepatic (IH) inoculations were able to restore the ability of these viruses to produce hepatitis. The common denominator of the three chimeric viruses with a different phenotype is a region between aa 306 and aa 386 in which 17 amino acids (aa) differences exist between the two strains. Thus this region may contain determinants which enable the virus to exit the brain and reach the blood stream.


Viral Titer Plaque Assay Nucleocapsid Protein Chimeric Virus Mouse Hepatitis Virus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Lavi
    • 1
  • J. A. Haluskey
    • 1
  • P. S. Masters
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and ResearchNew York State Department of HealthAlbanyUSA

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