The genome of a tortoise herpesvirus (testudinid herpesvirus 3) has a novel structure and contains a large region that is not required for replicationIn vitroor virulence in vivo

Gandar, F. et al. (2015) The genome of a tortoise herpesvirus (testudinid herpesvirus 3) has a novel structure and contains a large region that is not required for replicationIn vitroor virulence in vivo. Journal of Virology, 89(22), pp. 11438-11456. (doi:10.1128/jvi.01794-15) (PMID:26339050) (PMCID:PMC4645648)

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Abstract

Testudinid herpesvirus 3 (TeHV-3) is the causative agent of a lethal disease affecting several tortoise species. The threat that this virus poses to endangered animals is focusing efforts on characterizing its properties, in order to enable the development of prophylactic methods. We have sequenced the genomes of the two most studied TeHV-3 strains (1976 and 4295). TeHV-3 strain 1976 has a novel genome structure and is most closely related to a turtle herpesvirus, thus supporting its classification into genus Scutavirus, subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae, family Herpesviridae. The sequence of strain 1976 also revealed viral counterparts of cellular interleukin-10 and semaphorin, which have not been described previously in members of subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae. TeHV-3 strain 4295 is a mixture of three forms (m1, m2, and M), in which, in comparison to strain 1976, the genomes exhibit large, partially overlapping deletions of 12.5 to 22.4 kb. Viral subclones representing these forms were isolated by limiting dilution assays, and each replicated in cell culture comparably to strain 1976. With the goal of testing the potential of the three forms as attenuated vaccine candidates, strain 4295 was inoculated intranasally into Hermann's tortoises (Testudo hermanni). All inoculated subjects died, and PCR analyses demonstrated the ability of the m2 and M forms to spread and invade the brain. In contrast, the m1 form was detected in none of the organs tested, suggesting its potential as the basis of an attenuated vaccine candidate. Our findings represent a major step toward characterizing TeHV-3 and developing prophylactic methods against it.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wilkie, Dr Gavin and Kerr, Mrs Karen and Davison, Professor Andrew
Authors: Gandar, F., Wilkie, G. S., Gatherer, D., Kerr, K., Marlier, D., Diez, M., Marschang, R. E., Mast, J., Dewals, B. G., Davison, A. J., Vanderplasschen, A. F. C., and Longnecker, R. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of Virology
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0022-538X
ISSN (Online):1098-5514

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
656321Genomics of human cytomegalovirusAndrew DavisonMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12014/3MVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH