Genetic diversity of equine gammaherpesviruses (γ-EHV) and isolation of a syncytium forming EHV-2 strain from a horse in Iceland

Lilja Thorsteinsdóttir, Einar G. Torfason, Sigurbjörg Þorsteinsdóttir, Vilhjálmur Svansson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The horse population in Iceland is a special breed, isolated from other equines for at least one thousand years. This provides an exceptional opportunity to investigate old and new pathogens in a genetically closed herd. Both types of equine gammaherpesviruses, EHV-2 and EHV-5, are common in Iceland. Genetic variation was examined by sequencing four genes, glycoprotein B (gB), glycoprotein H (gH), DNA polymerase and DNA terminase for 12 Icelandic and seven foreign EHV-2 strains. One Icelandic virus isolate, gEHV-Dv, induced syncytium formation, an uncharacteristic cytopathy for EHV-2 in equine kidney cells. When sequenced, the glycoprotein genes were different from both EHV-2 and EHV-5, but the polymerase and terminase genes had 98-99% identity to EHV-2. Therefore the gEHV-Dv strain can be considered a variant of EHV-2.Substantial genetic variability was seen within the EHV-2 glycoprotein genes but limited in the polymerase and terminase genes. The Icelandic EHV-2 strains do not seem to differ phylogenetically from the foreign viruses, despite isolation for over a thousand years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-177
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Volume94
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Other keywords

  • EHV-2
  • Gammaherpesvirus
  • Phylogenetic
  • Sequencing
  • Syncytium
  • Variability

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic diversity of equine gammaherpesviruses (γ-EHV) and isolation of a syncytium forming EHV-2 strain from a horse in Iceland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this