The equine herpesvirus 2 E1 open reading frame encodes a functional chemokine receptor.
ABSTRACT: Several herpesviruses contain open reading frames (ORFs) that encode potential homologs of eucaryotic genes. Equine herpesvirus 2 (EHV-2) is a gammaherpesvirus related to other lymphotropic herpesviruses such as herpesvirus saimiri and Epstein-Barr virus. The E1 ORF of EHV-2, a G protein-coupled receptor homolog, shows 31 to 47% amino acid identity with known CC chemokine receptors. To investigate whether E1 may encode a functional receptor, we cloned the E1 ORF and expressed it in stably transfected cell lines. We report here the identification of the CC chemokine eotaxin as a functional ligand for the EHV-2 E1 receptor. Chemokines are likely to play a role in the regulation of immune functions in equine hosts during EHV-2 infection and, via interaction with E1, may affect viral replication and/or escape from immune responses.
Project description:BACKGROUND: To date the influence of herpesviruses on the development of equine ocular diseases has not been clearly determined. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to illustrate the course of equine ocular findings over a period of 18 months at 6 month intervals, in correlation with the results of herpesvirus detection. METHODS: 266 Lipizzaners in 3 federal states of Austria underwent complete ophthalmologic examination 4 times. Blood samples, nasal- and conjunctival swabs were obtained at the same time and used for the detection of the equid gammaherpesviruses EHV-2 and EHV-5 using consensus herpesvirus PCR and type-specific qPCRs. Ophthalmic findings and results of herpesvirus PCRs were recorded and statistically analysed using one-way ANOVA, and multiple logistic regression analysis to determine the influence of herpesvirus infections and other contributing factors on the presence of ophthalmic findings. RESULTS: In the first, second, third and fourth examination period 266, 261, 249 and 230 horses were included, respectively. Ophthalmic findings consistent with herpesvirus infections included conjunctival- and corneal pathologies. Statistical analysis revealed that the probability of positive herpesvirus PCR results decreased with progressing age; however the presence of corneal findings increased over time. At the time of each examination 45.1%, 41.8%, 43.0%, and 57.0% of horses with conjunctival or corneal findings, respectively, were positive for EHV-2 and/or EHV-5. However, 31.6%, 17.6%, 20.1%, and 13.0% of clinically sound horses were positive for these herpesviruses at each examination period, too. CONCLUSION: Based on the results of our study there is a significant influence of young age on EHV-2 and/or EHV-5 infection. Corneal pathologies increased over time and with progressing age. Whether the identified findings were caused by herpesviruses could not be unequivocally determined.
Project description:Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) causes respiratory disorders and abortion in equids while EHV-1 regularly causes equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM), a stroke-like syndrome following endothelial cell infection in horses. Both EHV-1 and EHV-9 infections of non-definitive hosts often result in neuronal infection and high case fatality rates. Hence, EHV-1 and EHV-9 are somewhat unusual herpesviruses and lack strict host specificity, and the true extent of their host ranges have remained unclear. In order to determine the seroprevalence of EHV-1 and EHV-9, a sensitive and specific peptide-based ELISA was developed and applied to 428 sera from captive and wild animals representing 30 species in 12 families and five orders. Members of the Equidae, Rhinocerotidae and Bovidae were serologically positive for EHV-1 and EHV-9. The prevalence of EHV-1 in the sampled wild zebra populations was significantly higher than in zoos suggesting captivity may reduce exposure to EHV-1. Furthermore, the seroprevalence for EHV-1 was significantly higher than for EHV-9 in zebras. In contrast, EHV-9 antibody prevalence was high in captive and wild African rhinoceros species suggesting that they may serve as a reservoir or natural host for EHV-9. Thus, EHV-1 and EHV-9 have a broad host range favoring African herbivores and may have acquired novel natural hosts in ecosystems where wild equids are common and are in close contact with other perissodactyls.
Project description:Equid herpesviruses (EHVs) threaten equine health and can cause significant economic losses to the equine industry worldwide. Different equid herpesviruses, EHV-1, EHV-2, EHV-4 and EHV5 are regularly detected among horse populations. In Egypt, monitoring is sporadic but EHV-1 or EHV-4 have been reported to circulate in the horse population. However, there is a lack of reports related to infection and health status of horses, likely due to the absence of regular diagnostic procedures. In the current study, the circulation of four infectious equid herpesviruses (EHV-1, EHV-2, EHV-4 and EHV-5) among different Arabian horse populations and donkeys residing the same farm was monitored. Different samples were collected and DNA was extracted and subjected to quantitative (q)-PCR to detect the four equid herpesviruses using specific primers and probes. Antibody titres against EHV-1 and EHV-4 were tested using virus neutralization test and type-specific ELISA. The results showed that EHV-1, EHV-2, EHV-4 and EHV-5 are endemic and can be a continuous threat for horses in the absence of vaccination programs and frequent virus reactivation. There is an urgent need for introduction of active regular surveillance measures to investigate the presence of different equid herpesviruses, and other equine viral pathogens, in various horse populations around Egypt and to establish a standardized cataloguing of equine health status.
Project description:The complete nucleotide sequence of the short region, made up of a unique segment (Us; 6.5 kb) bracketed by a pair of inverted repeat sequences (IR; 12.8 kb each), of the equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) genome has been determined recently in our laboratory. Analysis of the IR segment revealed a major open reading frame (ORF) designated IR4. The IR4 ORF exhibits significant homology to the immediate-early gene US1 (ICP22) of herpes simplex virus type 1 and to the ICP22 homologs of varicella-zoster virus (ORF63), pseudorabies virus (RSp40), and equine herpesvirus 4 (ORF4). The IR4 ORF is located entirely within each of the inverted repeat sequences (nucleotides [nt] 7918 to 9327) and has the potential to encode a polypeptide of 469 amino acids (49,890 Da). Within the IR4 ORF are two reiterated sequences: a 7-nt sequence tandemly repeated 17 times and a 25-nt sequence tandemly repeated 13 times. Nucleotide sequence analyses of IR4 also revealed several potential cis-regulatory sequences, two TATA sequences separated by 287 nt, an in-frame translation initiation codon following each TATA sequence, and a single polyadenylation site. To address the nature of the mRNA species encoded by IR4, we used Northern (RNA) blot and S1 nuclease analyses. RNA mapping data revealed that IR4 has two promoters that are regulated differentially during a lytic infection. A 1.4-kb mRNA appears initially at 2 h postinfection and is an early transcript since its synthesis is not affected by the presence of phosphonoacetic acid, an inhibitor of EHV-1 DNA replication. In contrast, a 1.7-kb mRNA appears at later times postinfection and is designated as a gamma-1 transcript, since its synthesis is significantly reduced by phosphonoacetic acid. These IR4-specific mRNAs are 3' coterminal, have unique 5' termini, and would code for in-frame, overlapping, carboxy-coterminal proteins of 293 and 469 amino acids, respectively. Interestingly, the site of homologous recombination to generate the genome of EHV-1 defective interfering particles that initiate persistent infection occurs between nt 3244 and 3251 of UL3 (ICP27 homolog) and nt 9027 and 9034 of IR4 (ICP22 homolog). Thus, this recombination event would generate a unique ORF that would encode a potential protein whose amino end was derived from the N-terminal 193 amino acids of the ICP22 homolog and whose carboxyl end was derived from the C-terminal 68 amino acids of the ICP27 homolog.
Project description:Alphaherpesviruses are highly prevalent in equine populations and co-infections with more than one of these viruses' strains frequently diagnosed. Lytic replication and latency with subsequent reactivation, along with new episodes of disease, can be influenced by genetic diversity generated by spontaneous mutation and recombination. Latency enhances virus survival by providing an epidemiological strategy for long-term maintenance of divergent strains in animal populations. The alphaherpesviruses equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) and 9 (EHV-9) have recently been shown to cross species barriers, including a recombinant EHV-1 observed in fatal infections of a polar bear and Asian rhinoceros. Little is known about the latency and genetic diversity of EHV-1 and EHV-9, especially among zoo and wild equids. Here, we report evidence of limited genetic diversity in EHV-9 in zebras, whereas there is substantial genetic variability in EHV-1. We demonstrate that zebras can be lytically and latently infected with both viruses concurrently. Such a co-occurrence of infection in zebras suggests that even relatively slow-evolving viruses such as equine herpesviruses have the potential to diversify rapidly by recombination. This has potential consequences for the diagnosis of these viruses and their management in wild and captive equid populations.
Project description:Equine herpesvirus type 9 (EHV-9), which we isolated from a case of epizootic encephalitis in a herd of Thomson's gazelles (Gazella thomsoni) in 1993, has been known to cause fatal encephalitis in Thomson's gazelle, giraffe, and polar bear in natural infections. Our previous report indicated that EHV-9 was similar to the equine pathogen equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1), which mainly causes abortion, respiratory infection, and equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy. We determined the genome sequence of EHV-9. The genome has a length of 148,371 bp and all 80 of the open reading frames (ORFs) found in the genome of EHV-1. The nucleotide sequences of the ORFs in EHV-9 were 86 to 95% identical to those in EHV-1. The whole genome sequence should help to reveal the neuropathogenicity of EHV-9.
Project description:Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) causes encephalomyelopathy and abortion, for which cell-associated viremia and subsequent virus transfer to and replication in endothelial cells (EC) are responsible and prerequisites. Viral and cellular molecules responsible for efficient cell-to-cell spread of EHV-1 between peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and EC remain unclear. We have generated EHV-1 mutants lacking ORF1, ORF2, and ORF17 genes, either individually or in combination. Mutant viruses were analyzed for their replication properties in cultured equine dermal cells, PBMC infection efficiency, virus-induced changes in the PBMC proteome, and cytokine and chemokine expression profiles. ORF1, ORF2, and ORF17 are not essential for virus replication, but ORF17 deletion resulted in a significant reduction in plaque size. Deletion of ORF2 and ORF17 gene significantly reduced cell-to-cell virus transfer from virus-infected PBMC to EC. EHV-1 infection of PBMC resulted in upregulation of several pathways such as Ras signaling, oxidative phosphorylation, platelet activation and leukocyte transendothelial migration. In contrast, chemokine signaling, RNA degradation and apoptotic pathways were downregulated. Deletion of ORF1, ORF2 and ORF17 modulated chemokine signaling and MAPK pathways in infected PBMC, which may explain the impairment of virus spread between PBMC and EC. The proteomic results were further confirmed by chemokine assays, which showed that virus infection dramatically reduced the cytokine/chemokine release in infected PBMC. This study uncovers cellular proteins and pathways influenced by EHV-1 after PBMC infection and provide an important resource for EHV-1 pathogenesis. EHV-1-immunomodulatory genes could be potential targets for the development of live attenuated vaccines or therapeutics against virus infection.
Project description:Recombination in alphaherpesviruses allows evolution to occur in viruses that have an otherwise stable DNA genome with a low rate of nucleotide substitution. High-throughput sequencing of complete viral genomes has recently allowed natural (field) recombination to be studied in a number of different alphaherpesviruses, however, such studies have not been applied to equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) or equine herpesvirus 4 (EHV-4). These two equine alphaherpesviruses are genetically similar, but differ in their pathogenesis and epidemiology. Both cause economically significant disease in horse populations worldwide. This study used high-throughput sequencing to determine the full genome sequences of EHV-1 and EHV-4 isolates (11 and 14 isolates, respectively) from Australian or New Zealand horses. These sequences were then analysed and examined for evidence of recombination. Evidence of widespread recombination was detected in the genomes of the EHV-4 isolates. Only one potential recombination event was detected in the genomes of the EHV-1 isolates, even when the genomes from an additional 11 international EHV-1 isolates were analysed. The results from this study reveal another fundamental difference between the biology of EHV-1 and EHV-4. The results may also be used to help inform the future safe use of attenuated equine herpesvirus vaccines.
Project description:A strain of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) was isolated from zebra. This strain, called "zebra-borne EHV-1", was also isolated from an onager and a gazelle in zoological gardens in U.S.A. The full genome sequences of the 3 strains were determined. They shared 99% identities with each other, while they shared 98% and 95% identities with the horse derived EHV-1 and equine herpesvirus type 9, respectively. Sequence data indicated that the EHV-1 isolated from a polar bear in Germany is one of the zebra-borne EHV-1 and not a recombinant virus. These results indicated that zebra-borne EHV-1 is a subtype of EHV-1.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Equid herpesviruses (EHVs) are widespread in equine populations worldwide. While the infection with equine ?-herpesviruses (EHV-1 and EHV-4) has been linked to several clinical outcomes, the pathogenic potential for equine ?-herpesviruses (EHV-2 and EHV-5) is still unclear. The objective of the current study was to determine the prevalence of infection with EHVs among Polish horses, to investigate factors associated with EHV infections among horses sampled, and to determine genetic variability within Polish EHV-2 isolates. METHODS:Virus-specific real-time PCR assays were used for detection of EHV-1, EHV-2, EHV-4 and EHV-5 in nasal swabs collected from 540 horses from 13 national horse studs located throughout Poland. A proportion of EHV-2/5 positive samples were subjected to virus isolation followed by amplification and analysis of partial glycoprotein B sequence. RESULTS:Overall, 448/540 (83.0%) horses sampled were positive for at least one virus. The most prevalent was infection with EHV-2 (77.2%), followed by EHV-5 (47.0%), and EHV-4 (0.4%). None of the horses was positive for EHV-1. Approximately half of the virus-infected horses were positive for both EHV-2 and EHV-5. The proportion of EHV-2/5 positive horses varied by age, breed, and season. Only 8.0% of horses sampled, mostly Arabians, showed clinical signs of respiratory disease at the time of sampling. The viral load of both EHV-2 and EHV-5 DNA was highest in swabs from young horses, which was particularly evident for EHV-2 infected foals. Mean viral loads in nasal swabs collected from diseased horses were higher than in swabs from healthy horses. That was also true for EHV-2 when only diseased Arabian foals were considered, but the levels of EHV-5 DNA were lower in swabs from diseased than from healthy foals. In agreement with other studies, there was a considerable variability between Polish EHV-2 sequences, with no clustering of sequences from horses with different health status. The level of EHV-2 variability seemed to differ between different studs/breeds. CONCLUSIONS:The presence of foals and yearlings on a property is likely to increase the risk of active EHV-2/5 infection among in-contact horses. The existence of breed-specific differences in susceptibility to EHV-2/5 infections should be further investigated, as it may provide one variable that needs to be considered in attempts to associate EHV-2/5 infections with disease. Overall, the data presented add to the existing knowledge of the epidemiology and biology of equine ?-herpesviruses, with the long-term goal of better understanding of the pathogenesis and the impact of infections with these viruses on the well-being of the horse.