Molecular and Immunological Analysis of EHV-1 and -4 Infections

Cox, Peter John (1999) Molecular and Immunological Analysis of EHV-1 and -4 Infections. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The equine pathogens EHV-1 and -4 exert dramatic detrimental effects upon the equine population. Infection with either virus can directly or indirectly lead to the death of valuable animals although the outcome of EHV-4 infection is usually less severe than that of EHV-1 infection. The main consequences of EHV-1 associated outbreaks include abortion and/or paralysis. EHV-1 induced paralytic disease occurs less frequently than abortigenic disease but can result in the direct or indirect loss of animals of any age or sex. It is because of this that the paralytic form is most feared since it may lead to the loss of established sporting or stud animals. Clinically apparent EHV-4 infections are quite common whereas episodes associated with EHV-1 are less frequent. The epidemiology of EHV-1 and 4 is inextricably linked from the point of view of disease management since the initial stages of infection with either virus are similar but result in dramatically different consequences. The objective of the research carried out in this thesis was to identify molecular components of EHV-1 and -4 with a view to the development of diagnostic systems for these viruses. The identification of an EHV-1 paralysis inducing strain-specific marker would allow the epidemiological monitoring of such strains in the circulating strain population and possibly allow the identification of animals most at risk from this potentially devastating condition. Chapter 3 describes the search for such a marker in EHV-1 glycoprotein C (gC). This search was initiated by obtaining partial DNA sequence data from the gC gene of a number of different strains of EHV-1 with different disease associations. The enigmatic nature of this data necessitated further investigation, described in chapter 4, of the nature of the gC gene and the encoded gC protein from certain EHV-1 isolates. The abihty to distinguish EHV-1 from EHV-4 infected animals on the basis of serology has been shown to be of epidemiological and clinical value, especially given the need for rapid identification and management of EHV-1 infected horses against a background of relatively prevalent EHV-4 infection. Few antibody capture reagents have been forthcoming that would be useful for such type- specific diagnostic serology. This may seem suprising from a simplified perspective given the wealth of data generated in the past 20 years on EHV-1 and -4 glycoproteins which are the main targets of the equine humoral immune response to these viruses. Chapter 5 describes the utilisation of this glycoprotein data to identify potentially useful peptides. These peptides were subsequently assessed by Pepscan ELISA using sera from naturally and experimentally infected horses in order to identify peptides or combinations of peptides that would be potentially useful type-specific diagnostic antibody-capture reagents. Regions of the EHV-1 and -4 glycoprotein G (gG) homologues have previously been shown to be valuable serological type-specific diagnostic reagents. Chapter 6 describes the identification and the assessment of the diagnostic value of peptides representing epitopes in these regions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: David Onions
Keywords: Veterinary science, Animal diseases, Molecular biology
Date of Award: 1999
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1999-75424
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 20:09
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 20:09

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