Herpesvirus aotus type 2 (HVA-2) was isolated from a culture of kidney cells from a healthy owl monkey (). Bovine herpesvirus type 4 (BHV-4) is frequently isolated from diseased and even healthy cattle and occasionally from sheep, wild ruminants and cats. The two viruses are related antigenically, as was revealed by an indirect fluorescent antibody test using polyclonal antisera from experimentally infected rabbits or monoclonal antibodies raised against six BHV-4 proteins, three of which were glycosylated. The genome structures of the two viruses consist of a unique central sequence flanked at both ends by G+C-rich tandem repeats. Restriction maps (produced using RI, HI and dIII) of these two viruses were nearly identical but the unique sequence of the HVA-2 genome possessed two additional HI sites. Four genomic regions of variable size were detected, two located in the unique part, one in the repetitive part and one in the left junction between the unique and the repeated part of the genome; these slight variations were similar to those observed between various BHV-4 isolates. These results suggest that HVA-2 and BHV-4 belong to the same virus species; HVA-2 could be either a BHV-4 contaminant of owl monkey kidney cell cultures or an isolate from an owl monkey accidentally infected with BHV-4.


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