In order to identify the role of the bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) glycoprotein E (gE) in the viral infection cycle, we have constructed a BHV-1 gE deletion mutant strain (BHV-1 gE-). This strain was assayed in vitro by comparing its growth kinetics with the wild type strain used as a host of the deletion. Our results indicate that those conditions which prevent the infection by direct adsorption to the cells (presence of a semi-solid medium or presence of neutralizing antibodies in the medium) selectively inhibit the growth of the gE- strain, suggesting that gE plays a central role in the BHV-1 spread by direct cell-to-cell transmission, a major mechanism of the BHV-1 in vivo virulence.
- Bovine herpesvirus type 1
- Cell-to-cell spread
- Deletion mutant
- Glycoprotein E
- Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis