A series of mutants of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) which contain deletions in non-essential genes was previously characterized in a murine intranasal infection model. One mutant, ED71 which was shown to be attenuated in the model, was further characterized by inoculation into pregnant mice. Despite the attenuation previously reported, intranasal inoculation of pregnant mice resulted in premature parturition and the birth of dead or dying foetuses. Furthermore, mice inoculated before pregnancy with the same mutant, and subsequently challenged 14 days after conception with wild-type virus, were not protected from abortion.


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