The Wyoming strain of equine infectious anaemia virus (EIAV) is a highly virulent field strain that replicates to high titre in vitro only in primary equine monocyte-derived macrophages. In contrast, Wyoming-derived fibroblast-adapted EIAV strains (Malmquist virus) replicate in primary foetal equine kidney and equine dermis cells as well as in the cell lines FEA and Cf2Th. Wyoming and Malmquist viruses differ extensively both in long terminal repeat (LTR) and envelope region sequences. We have compared the promoter activities of the Wyoming LTR with those of LTRs derived from fibroblast-adapted viruses by examining their abilities to drive a luciferase reporter gene as well as by construction of infectious molecular clones differing only in LTR sequence. Our results indicate that LTR sequences are a major restriction for growth of the Wyoming strain of EIAV in fibroblasts.


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