Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #248526

Title: Complete Genomic Sequence and an Infectious BAC Clone of Feline Herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1)

item TAI, S.H. SHELDON - Michigan State University
item NIIKURA, MASAHIRO - Michigan State University
item Cheng, Hans
item KRUGER, JOHN - Michigan State University
item WISE, ANNABEL - Michigan State University
item MAES, ROGER - Michigan State University

Submitted to: Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2010
Publication Date: 6/5/2010
Citation: Tai, S.H., Niikura, M., Cheng, H.H., Kruger, J.M., Wise, A.G., Maes, R.K. 2010. Complete Genomic Sequence and an Infectious BAC Clone of Feline Herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1). Virology. 401(2):215-227.

Interpretive Summary: Feline herpesvirus virus type 1 (FHV-1) is a serious disease of cats. While vaccines can protect cats from diseases caused by this virus, there is a lack of information on the molecular basis for viral pathogenicity. In this study, we report the development of the first infectious clone containing the FHV-1 viral genome. This clone and its original FHV-1 strain were sequenced to yield the entire genome composition of this virus. This infectious clone provides the platform for future studies on viral gene function and the generation of more effective vaccines.

Technical Abstract: Feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1) is classified under the genus Varicellovirus within the Alphaherpesvirinae subfamily, and is a major cause of upper respiratory infection in cats. In this report, we present the first complete genomic sequence of FHV-1, as well as a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone that contains the entire FHV-1 genome. The BAC vector was inserted into the 5’-end of UL, and the resulting BAC clone was infectious both in vitro and in vivo. Complete genomic sequences were derived from the FHV-1 BAC clone and purified virus DNA. The FHV-1 genome is 135,797 bp in size with an overall G+C content of 45%. A total of 78 open reading frames were predicted that encode 74 distinct proteins. The gene arrangement is collinear with most sequenced varicelloviruses, including equine herpesvirus 1 and 4, bovine herpesvirus 1 and 5, and varicella zoster virus. The regenerated virus was indistinguishable from the parental C-27 strain in plaque morphology or growth characteristics. Preliminary in vivo characterization showed the BAC-derived virus was highly virulent in cats. These characteristics, along with the availability of the complete genomic sequence, will make the infectious BAC clone a starting platform for future mutagenesis-based functional studies on viral genes.