We have recovered five infectious molecular clones of the lentivirus equine infectious anaemia virus (EIAV). The clones were recovered from fetal equine kidney (FEK) cells infected with a virulent, cell culture-adapted virus stock (designated PV) and have been characterized at a molecular level. Each clone has unique envelope and long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences. We further investigated LTR sequence variation in the PV stock using PCR amplification to obtain additional LTR clones from infected FEK cells and from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from animals experimentally infected with PV. Sequence analysis of resulting clones indicates a selection for different LTR populations in pony PBMCs compared to FEK cells. Finally, we observed that the cloned EIAV proviruses did not remain infectious when maintained in a derivative of pBR322. However, two proviruses have been stably maintained in a low copy number vector (pLG338-SPORT).


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