2017 年 79 巻 8 号 p. 1426-1436
This study aimed to investigate the neuropathogenesis of equine herpes virus 9 (EHV-9) by studying the effects of a single point mutation introduced in two different EHV-9 genes. The two EHV-9 mutants, 14R and 19R, were generated carrying a point mutation in two separate EHV-9 genes. These mutants, along with the wild-type EHV-9, were used to infect a hamster model. The EHV-9- and 19R-infected groups showed earlier and more severe clinical signs of infection than the 14R-infected group. The white blood cells (WBCs) count was significantly increased in both EHV-9- and 19R-infected groups compared to the 14R-infected group at the 4th day post infection (DPI). Viremia was also detected earlier in both EHV-9- and 19R-infected groups than 14R-infected group. There were differences in the anterograde transmission pattern of both EHV-9 and 19R compared to 14R inside the brain. Serum TNF-α, IL-6 and IFN-γ levels were significantly increased in both EHV-9- and 19R-infected groups compared to the 14R-infected group. Histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses revealed that the mean group scores for the entire brain were significantly higher in both EHV-9- and 19R- infected groups than 14R-infected group. Collectively, these results confirm that the gene product of Open Reading Frame 19 (ORF19) plays an important role in EHV-9 neuropathogenicity and that the mutation in ORF19 is responsible for the attenuation of EHV-9.