Malaysian Applied Biology Journal

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Malays. Appl. Biol. (1999) 28(1&2): 1-7



Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.


The nature of peripheral white blood cells that harbour the equine herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1) during viraemia was studied in mice. Based on results obtained, it is suggested that the most probable immune cell population infected was T cells and that the virus may also establish latency in them. When T cell fractions were separated by using monoclonal antibodies YTS-191 and YTS-169 that are specific for CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets respectively, CD4+ T cells were found to be more likely to harbour the virus. Adoptive transfer of T cells obtained from EHV-1-infected donor mice failed to cause viraemia, and no virus replication was detected in the lungs of recipient mice unless the latter were previously immunosuppressed with cyclosporine A. Based on these findings, it is suggested that infection of T cell population by EHV-1 may result in immunosuppression in infected animals.

Key words: EHV-1, latency, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, T cell depletion.


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