Two herpesvirus isolates from goats are known which cause afflictions of the digestive tract in kids and, in some cases, abortion. An antigenic relationship of these goat herpesviruses with infectious bovine rhinotracheitis/infectious pustular vulvovaginitis virus (bovid herpesvirus 1, BHV-1) was reported and because of the species-specific pathogenicity, the goat isolates were named caprine herpesvirus 1. In this report the two isolates are further characterized and compared with BHV-1. Although the caprine herpesviruses share many biological and physicochemical properties with BHV-1, they can be differentiated from the bovine viruses with respect to growth cycle, one-way cross-neutralization and, most importantly, the restriction endonuclease fragments of their DNAs. The molecular weight of the caprine herpesvirus DNA, based on electron microscopic length measurement is 90 × 10, similar to that of BHV-1 (95 × 10). On the basis of these genomic differences, we propose that DNA restriction endonuclease patterns of the caprine herpesviruses should be designated as prototypic of bovid herpesvirus 6 (BHV-6).


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