1887

Abstract

Equine herpesvirus 5 (EHV5) is a commonly detected gammaherpesvirus, which, along with the closely related EHV2, constitute the only two known percaviruses that infect horses. Apart from detection in horse populations worldwide and the recent publication of the whole genome, there is little known about the biology and pathogenesis of this virus, with many assumptions made by parallels with EHV2. The long-term survival of gammaherpesviruses within infected hosts involves the establishment and maintenance of latency in selected cell and tissues types, particularly lymphocytes. A latent gammaherpesvirus infection is characterized by a limited number of genes expressing in a particular cell or tissue type. In this study, we have used in vitro co-culturing to detect EHV5 in equine PBMCs and characterize the predominant cellular site for the establishment and maintenance of a latent infection. These experiments were conducted by isolating PBMCs from 10 horses and sorting subpopulations into two T lymphocyte (CD4 and CD8), B lymphocyte and macrophage enriched or depleted fractions. These lymphocyte and macrophage fractions were examined for the presence of latent EHV5 by in vitro co-culturing with equine foetal kidney cells. The lymphocyte fraction enriched with B lymphocytes had a significantly increased (P=0.005) number of plaques formed during co-culturing, whereas the B lymphocyte depleted fraction had a significant reduction in the number of plaques formed after co-culturing. Taken together, these results demonstrate that equine gammaherpesviruses establish latency in the equine PBMCs, with the predominant site for maintenance of latent virus being B lymphocytes.

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2017-03-20
2019-09-18
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