Characterization of a novel alphaherpesvirus associated with fatal infections of domestic rabbits

L. Jin, C. V. Löhr, Adam Vanarsdall, R. J. Baker, M. Moerdyk-Schauwecker, C. Levine, R. F. Gerlach, S. A. Cohen, D. E. Alvarado, G. F. Rohrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A virus was found to be associated with a severe disease affecting rabbits on a farm near Anchorage, Alaska. Extracts from the skin of infected rabbits produced syncytia and cell lysis in cultured rabbit skin, rabbit kidney, and Vero cells. Examination of the infectious agent by electron microscopy revealed an icosahedral nucleocapsid surrounded by an envelope with a diameter of about 120 nm, suggesting that it was a herpesvirus. The viral genome was determined to be composed of double-stranded DNA of 120-130 kbp. PCR using degenerate primers to conserved herpesvirus genes was used to amplify sequences from purified viral DNA. Sequencing of these products allowed the design of specific primers so that complete sequence data for a number of genes could be determined. Analysis of these data indicated that the virus is most closely related to bovine herpesvirus 2. The next most closely related viruses are human herpesviruses 1 and 2, and a number of cercopithecine herpesviruses. Experimental exposure of domestic rabbits to the isolate resulted in severe clinical disease and necrosis in the spleen and lymph node. In addition, viral DNA was identified in a variety of tissues by PCR, consistent with a systemic infection. Taken together, these data suggest that this virus is highly pathogenic for domestic rabbits and belongs to the family Herpesviridae, subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae, genus Simplexvirus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalVirology
Volume378
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Herpesviridae
Rabbits
Infection
Viruses
Viral DNA
Bovine Herpesvirus 2
Alphaherpesvirinae
Nucleocapsid
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Skin
Vero Cells
Human Herpesvirus 2
Viral Genome
Human Herpesvirus 1
Simplexvirus
Giant Cells
Genes
Electron Microscopy
Necrosis
Spleen

Keywords

  • Alphaherpesvirus
  • dsDNA
  • Herpesvirus
  • Rabbit
  • Simplexvirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Jin, L., Löhr, C. V., Vanarsdall, A., Baker, R. J., Moerdyk-Schauwecker, M., Levine, C., ... Rohrmann, G. F. (2008). Characterization of a novel alphaherpesvirus associated with fatal infections of domestic rabbits. Virology, 378(1), 13-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2008.05.003

Characterization of a novel alphaherpesvirus associated with fatal infections of domestic rabbits. / Jin, L.; Löhr, C. V.; Vanarsdall, Adam; Baker, R. J.; Moerdyk-Schauwecker, M.; Levine, C.; Gerlach, R. F.; Cohen, S. A.; Alvarado, D. E.; Rohrmann, G. F.

In: Virology, Vol. 378, No. 1, 15.08.2008, p. 13-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jin, L, Löhr, CV, Vanarsdall, A, Baker, RJ, Moerdyk-Schauwecker, M, Levine, C, Gerlach, RF, Cohen, SA, Alvarado, DE & Rohrmann, GF 2008, 'Characterization of a novel alphaherpesvirus associated with fatal infections of domestic rabbits', Virology, vol. 378, no. 1, pp. 13-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2008.05.003
Jin, L. ; Löhr, C. V. ; Vanarsdall, Adam ; Baker, R. J. ; Moerdyk-Schauwecker, M. ; Levine, C. ; Gerlach, R. F. ; Cohen, S. A. ; Alvarado, D. E. ; Rohrmann, G. F. / Characterization of a novel alphaherpesvirus associated with fatal infections of domestic rabbits. In: Virology. 2008 ; Vol. 378, No. 1. pp. 13-20.
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