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Alcelaphine Herpesvirus-1 (Malignant Catarrhal Fever Virus) in Wildebeest Placenta: Genetic Variation of ORF50 and A9.5 Alleles.


ABSTRACT: Alcelaphine herpesvirus-1 (AlHV-1), a causative agent of malignant catarrhal fever in cattle, was detected in wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) placenta tissue for the first time. Although viral load was low, the finding of viral DNA in over 50% of 94 samples tested lends support to the possibility that placental tissue could play a role in disease transmission and that wildebeest calves are infected in utero. Two viral loci were sequenced to examine variation among virus samples obtained from wildebeest and cattle: the ORF50 gene, encoding the lytic cycle transactivator protein, and the A9.5 gene, encoding a novel polymorphic viral glycoprotein. ORF50 was well conserved with six newly discovered alleles differing at only one or two base positions. In contrast, while only three new A9.5 alleles were discovered, these differed by up to 13% at the nucleotide level and up to 20% at the amino acid level. Structural homology searching performed with the additional A9.5 sequences determined in this study adds power to recent analysis identifying the four-helix bundle cytokine interleukin-4 (IL4) as the major homologue. The majority of MCF virus samples obtained from Tanzanian cattle and wildebeest encoded A9.5 polypeptides identical to the previously characterized A9.5 allele present in the laboratory maintained AlHV-1 C500 strain. This supports the view that AlHV-1 C500 is suitable for the development of a vaccine for wildebeest-associated MCF.

SUBMITTER: Lankester F 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4430166 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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