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See detailInterkeukin-10s encoded by viruses : a remarkable example of independent acquisitions of a cellular gene by viruses and its subsequent evolution in the viral genome
Ouyang, Ping; Rakus, Krzysztof ULg; Van Beurden, Steven et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2013)

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See detailVirion endocytosis is a major target for Murid Herpesvirus-4 neutralization.
Glauser, D; Gillet, Laurent ULg; Stevenson, PG

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2012)

Herpesviruses consistently transmit from immunocompetent carriers, implying that their neutralization is hard to achieve. Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) exploits host IgG Fc receptors to bypass blocks to ... [more ▼]

Herpesviruses consistently transmit from immunocompetent carriers, implying that their neutralization is hard to achieve. Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) exploits host IgG Fc receptors to bypass blocks to cell binding, and pH-dependent protein conformation changes to unveil its fusion machinery only after endocytosis. Nevertheless neutralization remains possible by targeting the virion glycoprotein H (gH) / gL heterodimer, and the neutralizing antibody responses of MuHV-4 carriers are improved by boosting with recombinant gH/gL. We analysed here how gH/gL-directed neutralization works. The MuHV-4 gH/gL binds to heparan sulfate. However most gH/gL-specific neutralizing antibodies did not block this interaction. Nor did they act directly on fusion. Instead they blocked virion endocytosis and transport to the late endosomes where membrane fusion normally occurs. The poor endocytosis of gH/gL-neutralized virions was recapitulated precisely by virions genetically lacking gL. Therefore driving virion uptake appears to be an important function of gH/gL that provides a major target for antibody-mediated neutralization. [less ▲]

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See detailAlternative attachment factors and internalization pathways for GIII.2 bovine noroviruses.
Mauroy, Axel ULg; Gillet, Laurent ULg; Mathijs, Elisabeth ULg et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2011)

Bovine noroviruses belong to the family Caliciviridae, genus Norovirus. Two genotypes are described and viruses genetically related to the Jena and Newbury-2 strains are classified into genotypes 1 and 2 ... [more ▼]

Bovine noroviruses belong to the family Caliciviridae, genus Norovirus. Two genotypes are described and viruses genetically related to the Jena and Newbury-2 strains are classified into genotypes 1 and 2 respectively. In this study, virus-like particles (VLP) of the previously detected B309 Belgian strain, genetically related to genotype 2 bovine noroviruses, were used to investigate virus-host interactions in vitro. B309 VLP were shown to bind to several bovine cell lines. This binding was not affected by heparinase or chondroitinase treatment but was significantly inhibited by both sodium periodate, alpha-galactosidase, trypsin and phospholipase C treatment. Cell treatment by neuraminidase also moderately affected this binding. Taken together, these results show that, in addition to a galactosyl residue, sialic acid could also be involved in binding to susceptible cells. In addition, both the cholesterol-dependent pathway and macropinocytosis are used for B309 VLP internalisation by Madin-Darby Bovine Kidney cells. The data increase the knowledge on bovine norovirus cell interactions. [less ▲]

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See detailA mechanistic basis for potent, glycoprotein B-directed gammaherpesvirus neutralization.
Glauser, Daniel L; Kratz, Anne*-Sophie; Gillet, Laurent ULg et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2011), 92(Pt 9), 2020-33

Glycoprotein B (gB) is a conserved, essential component of gammaherpes virions and so potentially vulnerable to neutralization. However, few good gB-specific neutralizing antibodies have been identified ... [more ▼]

Glycoprotein B (gB) is a conserved, essential component of gammaherpes virions and so potentially vulnerable to neutralization. However, few good gB-specific neutralizing antibodies have been identified. Here, we show that murid herpesvirus 4 is strongly neutralized by mAbs that recognize an epitope close to one of the gB fusion loops. Antibody binding did not stop gB interacting with its cellular ligands or initiating its fusion-associated conformation change, but did stop gB resolving stably to its post-fusion form, and so blocked membrane fusion to leave virions stranded in late endosomes. The conservation of gB makes this mechanism a possible general route to gammaherpesvirus neutralization. [less ▲]

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See detailExperimental evidence of recombination in murine noroviruses
Mathijs, Elisabeth ULg; Muylkens, Benoît ULg; Mauroy, Axel ULg et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2010)

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See detailBovine herpesvirus 4 ORF73 is dispensable for viral growth in vitro but is essential for viral persistence in vivo.
Thirion, M.; Machiels, Bénédicte ULg; Farnir, Frédéric ULg et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2010), 91(10), 2574-84

ORF73 orthologues encoded by different rhadinoviruses have been studied extensively. These studies revealed that the ORF73 expression product (pORF73) is a multifunctional protein essential for latency ... [more ▼]

ORF73 orthologues encoded by different rhadinoviruses have been studied extensively. These studies revealed that the ORF73 expression product (pORF73) is a multifunctional protein essential for latency that enables episome tethering to mitotic chromosomes and modulates cellular pathways implicated in growth and survival of latently infected cells. Comparison of pORF73 orthologues encoded by rhadinoviruses reveals important variations in amino acid sequence length and composition. Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) encodes by far the shortest ORF73 orthologue with a size equivalent to only 22% of the largest orthologues. The present study focused on determining if BoHV 4 ORF73 is a bona fide gene and investigating whether it is essential for latency as established for larger ORF73 orthologues. Our results demonstrate that BoHV-4 ORF73 is transcribed as immediate-early bicistronic mRNA together with ORF71. Using a BoHV-4 bacterial artificial chromosome clone, we produced a strain deleted for ORF73 and a revertant strain. Deletion of BoHV-4 ORF73 did not affect the capacity of the virus to replicate in vitro, but it prevented latent infection in vivo using a rabbit model. Interestingly, the strain deleted for ORF73 induced an anti-BoHV-4 humoral immune response comparable to that elicited by wild-type and revertant recombinants. Together, these results demonstrate that despite its relatively small size, BoHV-4 ORF73 is a functional homologue of larger rhadinovirus ORF73 orthologues, and highlight the potential of ORF73 deletion for the development of BoHV-4 as a vector in vaccinology. [less ▲]

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See detailMouse vaccination with dendritic cells loaded with prion protein peptides overcomes tolerance and delays scrapie.
Bachy, Veronique; Ballerini, Clara; Gourdain, Pauline et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2010), 91(Pt 3), 809-20

Prion diseases are presumed to be caused by the accumulation in the brain of a pathological protein called prion protein (PrP) scrapie which results from the transconformation of cellular PrP, a ... [more ▼]

Prion diseases are presumed to be caused by the accumulation in the brain of a pathological protein called prion protein (PrP) scrapie which results from the transconformation of cellular PrP, a ubiquitous glycoprotein expressed in all mammals. Since all isoforms of PrP are perceived as self by the host immune system, a major problem in designing efficient immunoprophylaxis or immunotherapy is to overcome tolerance. The present study was aimed at investigating whether bone-marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with peptides previously shown to be immunogenic in PrP-deficient mice, can overcome tolerance in PrP-proficient wild-type mice and protect them against scrapie. Results show that, in such mice, peptide-loaded DCs elicit both lymphokine release by T cells and antibody secretion against native cellular PrP. Repeated recalls with peptide-loaded DCs reduces the attack rate of 139A scrapie inoculated intraperitoneally and retards disease duration by 40 days. Most interestingly, survival time in individual mice appears to be correlated with the level of circulating antibody against native cellular PrP. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative study of Murid gamma-herpesvirus 4 infection in mice and in a natural host, the bank voles.
François, Sylvie ULg; Vidick, Sarah ULg; Sarlet, Michaël ULg et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2010)

Gamma-herpesviruses are archetypal pathogenic persistent viruses. The known human gamma-herpesviruses (Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus) are host-specific and therefore lack ... [more ▼]

Gamma-herpesviruses are archetypal pathogenic persistent viruses. The known human gamma-herpesviruses (Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus) are host-specific and therefore lack a convenient in vivo infection model. This makes related animal gamma-herpesviruses an important source of information. We are studying Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4), a virus originally isolated from bank voles (Myodes glareolus). MuHV-4 infection of inbred laboratory mouse strains (Mus musculus) is commonly used as a general model of gamma-herpesvirus pathogenesis. However, MuHV-4 has not been isolated from house mice, and no systematic comparison has been made between experimental MuHV-4 infections of mice and bank voles. We have therefore characterized MuHV-4 (strain MHV-68) infection of bank voles, both through global luciferase imaging and through classical virological methods. As in mice, intranasal virus inoculation led to productive replication in bank vole lungs, accompanied by massive cellular infiltrates. However, the extent of lytic virus replication was ~1000 fold lower in bank voles than in mice. Peak latency titers in lymphoid tissue were also lower, although latency was still established. Finally, we tested viral transmission between animals maintained in captivity. However, as observed in mice, MuHV-4 did not transmit between voles in these conditions. In conclusion, this study revealed that despite quantitative differences, replication and latency sites of MuHV-4 are comparable in bank voles and in mice. It appears therefore so far that Mus musculus represents a suitable host for studying gamma-herpesvirus pathogenesis with MuHV-4. Establishing transmission conditions in captivity will be a vital step for further research in that field. [less ▲]

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See detailThe genome of cyprinid herpesvirus 3 encodes 40 proteins incorporated in mature virions
Michel, Benjamin ULg; Leroy, B.; Victor, Stalinraj ULg et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2010)

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See detailBovine leukemia virus can be classified into seven genotypes: evidence for the existence of two novel clades.
Rodriguez, Sabrina ULg; Golemba, Marcelo D.; Campos, Rodolfo H. et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2009), 90(Pt 11), 2788-97

Previous studies have classified the env sequences of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) provirus from different locations worldwide into between two and four genetic groupings. These different studies gave ... [more ▼]

Previous studies have classified the env sequences of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) provirus from different locations worldwide into between two and four genetic groupings. These different studies gave unique names to the identified groups and no study has yet integrated all the available sequences. Thus, we hypothesized that many of the different groups previously identified actually correspond to a limited group of genotypes that are unevenly distributed worldwide. To examine this hypothesis, we sequenced the env gene from 28 BLV field strains and compared these sequences to 46 env sequences that represent all the genetic groupings already identified. By using phylogenetic analyses, we recovered six clades, or genotypes, that we have called genotypes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Genotypes 1-5 have counterparts among the sequence groupings identified previously. One env sequence did not cluster with any of the others and was highly divergent when compared with the six genotypes identified here. Thus, an extra genotype, which we named 7, may exist. Similarity comparisons were highly congruent with phylogenetic analyses. Furthermore, our analyses confirmed the existence of geographical clusters. [less ▲]

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See detailIn vivo importance of heparan sulfate-binding glycoproteins for murid herpesvirus-4 infection.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; May, Janet S; Stevenson, Philip G

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2009), 90(Pt 3), 602-13

Many herpesviruses bind to heparan sulfate (HS). Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) does so via its envelope glycoproteins gp70 and gH/gL. MuHV-4 gp150 further regulates an HS-independent interaction to make ... [more ▼]

Many herpesviruses bind to heparan sulfate (HS). Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) does so via its envelope glycoproteins gp70 and gH/gL. MuHV-4 gp150 further regulates an HS-independent interaction to make that HS-dependent too. Cell binding by MuHV-4 virions is consequently strongly HS-dependent. Gp70 and gH/gL show some in vitro redundancy: an antibody-mediated blockade of HS binding by one is well tolerated, whereas a blockade of both severely impairs infection. In order to understand the importance of HS binding for MuHV-4 in vivo, we generated mutants lacking both gL and gp70. As expected, gL(-)gp70(-) MuHV-4 showed very poor cell binding. It infected mice at high dose but not at low dose, indicating defective host entry. But once entry occurred, host colonization, which for MuHV-4 is relatively independent of the infection dose, was remarkably normal. The gL(-)gp70(-) entry deficit was much greater than that of gL(-) or gp70(-) single knockouts. And gp150 disruption, which allows HS-independent cell binding, largely rescued the gL(-)gp70(-) cell binding and host entry deficits. Thus, it appeared that MuHV-4 HS binding is important in vivo, principally for efficient host entry. [less ▲]

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See detailGlycoprotein L sets the neutralization profile of murid herpesvirus 4.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; Alenquer, Marta; Glauser, Daniel L et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2009), 90(Pt 5), 1202-14

Antibodies readily neutralize acute, epidemic viruses, but are less effective against more indolent pathogens such as herpesviruses. Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) provides an accessible model for tracking ... [more ▼]

Antibodies readily neutralize acute, epidemic viruses, but are less effective against more indolent pathogens such as herpesviruses. Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) provides an accessible model for tracking the fate of antibody-exposed gammaherpesvirus virions. Glycoprotein L (gL) plays a central role in MuHV-4 entry: it allows gH to bind heparan sulfate and regulates fusion-associated conformation changes in gH and gB. However, gL is non-essential: heparan sulfate binding can also occur via gp70, and the gB-gH complex alone seems to be sufficient for membrane fusion. Here, we investigated how gL affects the susceptibility of MuHV-4 to neutralization. Immune sera neutralized gL(-) virions more readily than gL(+) virions, chiefly because heparan sulfate binding now depended on gp70 and was therefore easier to block. However, there were also post-binding effects. First, the downstream, gL-independent conformation of gH became a neutralization target; gL normally prevents this by holding gH in an antigenically distinct heterodimer until after endocytosis. Second, gL(-) virions were more vulnerable to gB-directed neutralization. This covered multiple epitopes and thus seemed to reflect a general opening up of the gH-gB entry complex, which gL again normally restricts to late endosomes. gL therefore limits MuHV-4 neutralization by providing redundancy in cell binding and by keeping key elements of the virion fusion machinery hidden until after endocytosis. [less ▲]

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See detailIn vivo imaging of murid herpesvirus-4 infection.
Milho, Ricardo; Smith, Christopher M; Marques, Sofia et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2009), 90(Pt 1), 21-32

Luciferase-based imaging allows a global view of microbial pathogenesis. We applied this technique to gammaherpesvirus infection by inserting a luciferase expression cassette into the genome of murine ... [more ▼]

Luciferase-based imaging allows a global view of microbial pathogenesis. We applied this technique to gammaherpesvirus infection by inserting a luciferase expression cassette into the genome of murine herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4). The recombinant virus strongly expressed luciferase in lytically infected cells without significant attenuation. We used it to compare different routes of virus inoculation. After intranasal infection of anaesthetized mice, luciferase was expressed in the nose and lungs for 7-10 days and in lymphoid tissue, most consistently the superficial cervical lymph nodes, for up to 30 days. Gastrointestinal infection was not observed. Intraperitoneal infection was very different to intranasal, with strong luciferase expression in the liver, kidneys, intestines, reproductive tract and spleen, but none in the nose or lungs. The nose has not previously been identified as a site of MuHV-4 infection. After intranasal infection of non-anaesthetized mice, it was the only site of non-lymphoid luciferase expression. Nevertheless, lymphoid colonization and persistence were still established, even at low inoculation doses. In contrast, virus delivered orally was very poorly infectious. Inoculation route therefore had a major impact on pathogenesis. Low dose intranasal infection without anaesthesia seems most likely to mimic natural transmission, and may therefore be particularly informative about normal viral gene functions. [less ▲]

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See detailVaccinia virus lacking the Bcl-2-like protein N1 induces a stronger natural killer cell response to infection.
Jacobs, Nathalie ULg; Bartlett, Nathan W; Clark, Richard H et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2008), 89(Pt 11), 2877-81

The vaccinia virus (VACV) N1 protein is an intracellular virulence factor that has a Bcl-2-like structure and inhibits both apoptosis and signalling from the interleukin 1 receptor, leading to nuclear ... [more ▼]

The vaccinia virus (VACV) N1 protein is an intracellular virulence factor that has a Bcl-2-like structure and inhibits both apoptosis and signalling from the interleukin 1 receptor, leading to nuclear factor kappa B activation. Here, we investigated the immune response to intranasal infection with a virus lacking the N1L gene (vDeltaN1L) compared with control viruses expressing N1L. Data presented show that deletion of N1L did not affect the proportion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells infiltrating the lungs or the cytotoxic T-cell activity of these cells. However, vDeltaN1L induced an increased local natural killer cell activity between days 4 and 6 post-infection. In addition, in the absence of N1 the host inflammatory infiltrate was characterized by a reduced proportion of lymphocytes bearing the early activation marker CD69. Notably, there was a good correlation between the level of CD69 expression and weight loss. The implications of these findings are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailGlycoprotein B switches conformation during murid herpesvirus 4 entry.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; Colaco, Susanna; Stevenson, Philip G

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2008), 89(Pt 6), 1352-63

Herpesviruses are ancient pathogens that infect all vertebrates. The most conserved component of their entry machinery is glycoprotein B (gB), yet how gB functions is unclear. A striking feature of the ... [more ▼]

Herpesviruses are ancient pathogens that infect all vertebrates. The most conserved component of their entry machinery is glycoprotein B (gB), yet how gB functions is unclear. A striking feature of the murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) gB is its resistance to neutralization. Here, we show by direct visualization of infected cells that the MuHV-4 gB changes its conformation between extracellular virions and those in late endosomes, where capsids are released. Specifically, epitopes on its N-terminal cell-binding domain become inaccessible, whilst non-N-terminal epitopes are revealed, consistent with structural changes reported for the vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein G. Inhibitors of endosomal acidification blocked the gB conformation switch. They also blocked capsid release and the establishment of infection, implying that the gB switch is a key step in entry. Neutralizing antibodies could only partially inhibit the switch. Their need to engage a less vulnerable, upstream form of gB, because its fusion form is revealed only in endosomes, helps to explain why gB-directed MuHV-4 neutralization is so difficult. [less ▲]

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See detailCamelpox virus encodes a schlafen-like protein that affects orthopoxvirus virulence.
Gubser, Caroline; Goodbody, Rory; Ecker, Andrea et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2007), 88(Pt 6), 1667-76

Camelpox virus (CMLV) gene 176R encodes a protein with sequence similarity to murine schlafen (m-slfn) proteins. In vivo, short and long members of the m-slfn family inhibited T-cell development, whereas ... [more ▼]

Camelpox virus (CMLV) gene 176R encodes a protein with sequence similarity to murine schlafen (m-slfn) proteins. In vivo, short and long members of the m-slfn family inhibited T-cell development, whereas in vitro, only short m-slfns caused arrest of fibroblast growth. CMLV 176 protein (v-slfn) is most closely related to short m-slfns; however, when expressed stably in mammalian cells, v-slfn did not inhibit cell growth. v-slfn is a predominantly cytoplasmic 57 kDa protein that is expressed throughout infection. Several other orthopoxviruses encode v-slfn proteins, but the v-slfn gene is fragmented in all sequenced variola virus and vaccinia virus (VACV) strains. Consistent with this, all 16 VACV strains tested do not express a v-slfn detected by polyclonal serum raised against the CMLV protein. In the absence of a small animal model to study CMLV pathogenesis, the contribution of CMLV v-slfn to orthopoxvirus virulence was studied via its expression in an attenuated strain of VACV. Recombinant viruses expressing wild-type v-slfn or v-slfn tagged at its C terminus with a haemagglutinin (HA) epitope were less virulent than control viruses. However, a virus expressing v-slfn tagged with the HA epitope at its N terminus had similar virulence to controls, implying that the N terminus has an important function. A greater recruitment of lymphocytes into infected lung tissue was observed in the presence of wild-type v-slfn but, interestingly, these cells were less activated. Thus, v-slfn is an orthopoxvirus virulence factor that affects the host immune response to infection. [less ▲]

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See detailMurine gammaherpesvirus-68 glycoprotein B presents a difficult neutralization target to monoclonal antibodies derived from infected mice.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; Gill, Michael B; Colaco, Susanna et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2006), 87(Pt 12), 3515-27

Persistent viruses disseminate from immune hosts. They must therefore resist neutralization by antibody. Murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) represents an accessible model with which to address how ... [more ▼]

Persistent viruses disseminate from immune hosts. They must therefore resist neutralization by antibody. Murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) represents an accessible model with which to address how resistance to neutralization is achieved and how overcoming it might improve infection control. The MHV-68 glycoprotein B (gB), like that of other herpesviruses, is a virion protein that is essential for infectivity. As such, it presents a potential neutralization target. In order to test whether virus-induced antibodies reduce virion infectivity by binding to gB, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were derived from MHV-68-infected mice. gB-specific mAbs were common, but only an IgM specific for the gB N terminus reduced virion infectivity significantly. It inhibited MHV-68 entry into BHK-21 cells at a post-binding step that was linked closely to membrane fusion. Reducing the mAb to IgM monomers compromised neutralization severely, suggesting that a pentameric structure was crucial to its function. Antibody treatment never blocked BHK-21 cell infection completely and blocked the infection of NMuMG epithelial cells hardly at all. Virions saturated with antibody also remained infectious to mice. Thus, the MHV-68 gB presents at best a very difficult target for antibody-mediated neutralization. [less ▲]

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See detailMurine gammaherpesvirus-68 glycoprotein H-glycoprotein L complex is a major target for neutralizing monoclonal antibodies.
Gill, Michael B.; Gillet, Laurent ULg; Colaco, Susanna et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2006), 87(Pt 6), 1465-75

Herpesviruses characteristically persist in immune hosts as latent genomes, but to transmit infection they must reactivate and replicate lytically. The interaction between newly formed virions and pre ... [more ▼]

Herpesviruses characteristically persist in immune hosts as latent genomes, but to transmit infection they must reactivate and replicate lytically. The interaction between newly formed virions and pre-existing antibody is therefore likely to be a crucial determinant of viral fitness. Murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) behaves as a natural pathogen of conventional, inbred mice and consequently allows such interactions to be analysed experimentally in a relatively realistic setting. Here, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were derived from MHV-68-infected mice and all those recognizing infected-cell surfaces were tested for their capacity to neutralize MHV-68 virions. All of the neutralizing mAbs identified were specific for the viral glycoprotein H (gH)-gL heterodimer and required both gH and gL to reproduce their cognate epitopes. Based on antibody interference, there appeared to be two major neutralization epitopes on gH-gL. Analysis of a representative mAb indicated that it blocked infection at a post-binding step--either virion endocytosis or membrane fusion. [less ▲]

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See detailCloning of the genome of Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 as an infectious and pathogenic bacterial artificial chromosome.
Dewals, Benjamin G ULg; Boudry, Christel ULg; Gillet, Laurent ULg et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2006), 87(Pt 3), 509-17

Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1), carried asymptomatically by wildebeest, causes malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) following cross-species transmission to a variety of susceptible species of the order ... [more ▼]

Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1), carried asymptomatically by wildebeest, causes malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) following cross-species transmission to a variety of susceptible species of the order Artiodactyla. The study of MCF pathogenesis has been impeded by an inability to produce recombinant virus, mainly due to the fact that AlHV-1 becomes attenuated during passage in culture. In this study, these difficulties were overcome by cloning the entire AlHV-1 genome as a stable, infectious and pathogenic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). A modified loxP-flanked BAC cassette was inserted in one of the two large non-coding regions of the AlHV-1 genome. This insertion allowed the production of an AlHV-1 BAC clone stably maintained in bacteria and able to regenerate virions when transfected into permissive cells. The loxP-flanked BAC cassette was excised from the genome of reconstituted virions by growing them in permissive cells stably expressing Cre recombinase. Importantly, BAC-derived AlHV-1 virions replicated comparably to the virulent (low-passage) AlHV-1 parental strain and induced MCF in rabbits that was indistinguishable from that of the virulent parental strain. The availability of the AlHV-1 BAC is an important advance for the study of MCF that will allow the identification of viral genes involved in MCF pathogenesis, as well as the production of attenuated recombinant candidate vaccines. [less ▲]

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See detailVaccinia virus strain Western Reserve protein B14 is an intracellular virulence factor.
Chen, Ron A-J; Jacobs, Nathalie ULg; Smith, Geoffrey L

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2006), 87(Pt 6), 1451-8

A characterization of the B14R gene from Vaccinia virus (VACV) strain Western Reserve (WR) is presented. Computational analyses of the B14R gene indicated high conservation in orthopoxviruses but no ... [more ▼]

A characterization of the B14R gene from Vaccinia virus (VACV) strain Western Reserve (WR) is presented. Computational analyses of the B14R gene indicated high conservation in orthopoxviruses but no orthologues outside the Poxviridae. To characterize the B14 protein, the B14R gene was expressed in Escherichia coli and recombinant protein was purified and used to generate a rabbit polyclonal antiserum. This antiserum recognized a 15 kDa cytoplasmic protein in mammalian cells that were transfected with the B14R gene or infected with VACV WR, but not from cells infected with a VACV mutant (vdeltaB14) from which the B14R gene was deleted. Compared to wild-type and revertant virus controls, vdeltaB14 had normal growth kinetics in cell culture. The virulence of vdeltaB14 was assessed in two in vivo models. Mice infected intranasally with vdeltaB14 had similar weight loss compared to the controls, but in C57BL/6 mice infected intradermally vdeltaB14 induced a smaller lesion size compared with controls. Moreover, intradermal infection with vdeltaB14 caused an increased infiltration of cells into the infected lesion despite the smaller lesion size. Therefore, B14 is an intracellular protein that is non-essential for virus replication in cell culture but contributes to virus virulence in vivo and affects the host response to infection. [less ▲]

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