Antigenic and molecular characterization of a herpesvirus isolated from a North American elk

Dirk Deregt Animal Diseases Research Institute, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Lethbridge, AB, Canada.

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 DVM, PhD
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Lorne T. Jordan Animal Diseases Research Institute, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Lethbridge, AB, Canada.

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 DVM, PhD
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Sylvia van Drunen Littel-van den Hurk Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.

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 PhD
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Saad A. Masri Animal Diseases Research Institute, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Lethbridge, AB, Canada.
Present address is Centre for Plant Health, Saanichton, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Sidney, BC, Canada.

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Stacy V. Tessaro Animal Diseases Research Institute, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Lethbridge, AB, Canada.

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Scott A. Gilbert Animal Diseases Research Institute, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Lethbridge, AB, Canada.

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 BSc

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether a herpesvirus isolated from the semen of a North American elk was related to bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1).

Sample Population—Semen from 1 healthy bull elk and 2 subtypes of BHV-1 (BHV-1.1 and BHV-1.2).

Procedures—A virus with cytopathic and electron microscopic characteristics consistent with an alphaherpesvirus was isolated from elk semen, using fetal bovine kidney cells. Cross-neutralization assays were performed with antisera against BHV-1 and the elk herpesvirus (ElkHV). Restriction endonuclease digests of ElkHV DNA were compared with digests of BHV-1.1 and BHV-1.2 DNA. A portion of the ElkHV DNA polymerase gene was amplified with consensus primers by use of the polymerase chain reaction and sequenced. Sequence was compared with known sequences of other herpesviruses. An immunoperoxidase monolayer assay was used to determine reactivities of 22 BHV–1-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against ElkHV. In vitro neutralizing activities of the reactive mAb were determined by use of a microneutralization assay.

Results—Results of cross-neutralization assays indicated that ElkHV was serologically related to BHV-1. Endonuclease digestion of ElkHV DNA generated fragments that were distinct from those of BHV-1. Nucleotide sequencing confirmed that ElkHV is an alphaherpesvirus closely related to but distinct from BHV-1. Six of 22 BHV–1-specific mAb reacted against ElkHV; 2 of these 6 also neutralized in vitro infectivity of ElkHV.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—ElkHV is antigenically and genetically distinguishable from BHV-1. However, the viruses are serologically related and share at least 6 antigenic determinants, one of which is a major neutralizing determinant. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1614–1618)

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether a herpesvirus isolated from the semen of a North American elk was related to bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1).

Sample Population—Semen from 1 healthy bull elk and 2 subtypes of BHV-1 (BHV-1.1 and BHV-1.2).

Procedures—A virus with cytopathic and electron microscopic characteristics consistent with an alphaherpesvirus was isolated from elk semen, using fetal bovine kidney cells. Cross-neutralization assays were performed with antisera against BHV-1 and the elk herpesvirus (ElkHV). Restriction endonuclease digests of ElkHV DNA were compared with digests of BHV-1.1 and BHV-1.2 DNA. A portion of the ElkHV DNA polymerase gene was amplified with consensus primers by use of the polymerase chain reaction and sequenced. Sequence was compared with known sequences of other herpesviruses. An immunoperoxidase monolayer assay was used to determine reactivities of 22 BHV–1-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against ElkHV. In vitro neutralizing activities of the reactive mAb were determined by use of a microneutralization assay.

Results—Results of cross-neutralization assays indicated that ElkHV was serologically related to BHV-1. Endonuclease digestion of ElkHV DNA generated fragments that were distinct from those of BHV-1. Nucleotide sequencing confirmed that ElkHV is an alphaherpesvirus closely related to but distinct from BHV-1. Six of 22 BHV–1-specific mAb reacted against ElkHV; 2 of these 6 also neutralized in vitro infectivity of ElkHV.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—ElkHV is antigenically and genetically distinguishable from BHV-1. However, the viruses are serologically related and share at least 6 antigenic determinants, one of which is a major neutralizing determinant. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1614–1618)

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