An infection was established in adult BALB/c mice by means of intranasal inoculation of the AB4 strain of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1). The acute infection was confined to the respiratory tract and blood. Virus was shown to replicate in the nasal mucosa, trachea and lung for several days producing clinical signs of disease. Viraemia was also detected and a small proportion of peripheral blood cells contained virus at the peak of the infection. Histological and electron microscopic evidence were obtained which proved that productive virus replication occurred in the ciliated epithelial cells lining the bronchi and in pneumocytes in the lung, resulting in the destruction of these cells. Both humoral and cell-mediated responses to the infection were detected and monitored. By means of immunoprophylaxis or chemotherapy it was possible to modify the course of the infection. This infection model has many striking features in common with that observed in the natural host and the observations suggest that the mouse is a convenient and relevant model in which to study both host responses to EHV-1 infection and modification of the pathogenesis by means of immunoprophylaxis or therapy.


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