Deletion of glycoprotein gM of pseudorabies virus results in attenuation for the natural host

Johannes M. Dijkstra, Volker Gerdts, Barbara G. Klupp, Thomas C. Mettenleiter

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Glycoprotein M (gM) is one of the very few non-essential glycoproteins conserved throughout the herpesvirus family. Despite this conservation little is known about its function in virus replication. To test for the importance of gM in vivo in a natural virus-host system, 6-week-old piglets were intranasally infected with a gM- mutant of the alphaherpesvirus pseudorabies virus (PrV). Following infection virus excretion from the nasal mucosa was decreased ca. 100-fold compared to wild-type or revertant virus. Clinical signs were limited to transiently elevated temperature. In contrast, animals infected by wild-type or revertant virus exhibited high fever, severe respiratory symptoms and affliction of the central nervous system. Prior infection with gM- PrV conferred protection against challenge infection and animals mounted an antibody response against gM after wild-type virus infection. Thus, gM is important for efficient virus replication in vivo and deletion of gM may contribute to development of live attenuated, genetically marked vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2147-2151
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 09-1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology


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