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  • 1 Royal Veterinary College, Royal College Street, London NW1 0TU, UK
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The aim of this study was to investigate the role of immediate early gene (gene63) in the pathogenesis of equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) acute and latent infections in equine and murine models. EHV-1 gene63 mutant virus (g63mut) along with EHV-1 (Ab4) was used for intracerebral and intranasal infection of 3 and 17-day-old mice. Both viruses were recovered at the same frequency from tissues after infection. Two Welsh ponies were infected via the intranasal route with each of the viruses. Acute infection was monitored by virus isolation from nasal swabs and peripheral blood leukocytes. Six weeks post infection, peripheral blood leukocytes were taken from ponies and in vitro reactivation was positive for both viruses. At autopsy, both viruses were isolated by co-cultivation from bronchial and submandibular lymph nodes. These findings indicate that the mutation of EHV-1 gene63 does not play a role in the establishment and reactivation from latency.

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