A novel gammaherpesvirus isolated from a black-tailed
prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)
Ana C. Bratanich
Received: 23 February 2011 / Accepted: 6 May 2011 / Published online: 1 June 2011
Ó Springer-Verlag 2011
Abstract A new gammaherpesvirus, tentatively named
cynomys herpesvirus 1 (CynGHV-1), was isolated from a
black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus). Cyn-
GHV-1 replicated cytopathogenically to moderate titers in
various cell lines. Ten kb of the CynGHV-1 genome was
sequenced using degenerate PCR and genomic cloning.
Sequence similarities were found to different genes from
known gammaherpesviruses. Phylogenetic analysis sug-
gested that CynGHV-1 was in fact a novel virus closely
related to representatives of different genera and unclassi-
ﬁed members of the subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae.
However, CynGHV-1 could not be assigned to any par-
ticular genus and therefore remains unclassiﬁed.
Keywords Gammaherpesvirus Á Prairie dog Á Novel virus
Gammaherpesvirinae is a growing herpesvirus subfamily
containing many members of interest for human/veterinary
medicine and biomedical research. Gammaherpesviruses
have been isolated and characterized in humans, various
primates, ruminants, rodents, sea mammals and other ani-
mal species . Some infections are not associated with
clinical disease, but others have been associated with or are
the direct cause of a variety of medical conditions .
Identiﬁcation of potential new members of this subfamily
 has sometimes been done in conjunction with ampli-
ﬁcation of conserved glycoprotein regions . Classiﬁca-
tion of these unknown herpesviruses relies mainly on
sequence comparison of these short segments, since these
are the only data available. Isolation of many of these
newly identiﬁed herpesviruses has not been accomplished.
Furthermore, many of the known gammaherpesviruses are
difﬁcult to propagate in vitro, hindering detection as well
as studies on latency and pathogenesis. In this paper, we
describe a new, still unclassiﬁed gammaherpesvirus iso-
lated from black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)
that is easily propagated in cell culture.
In 2003, a young adult female black-tailed prairie dog
(Cynomys ludovicianus) was trapped in Denver, CO, and
was brought dead and partially eaten to the Wyoming State
Veterinary Laboratory, a diagnostic facility located at the
The GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ accession numbers for the sequences
reported in this paper are EU863271-863275 and EU863200.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (doi:10.1007/s00705-011-1024-x) contains supplementary
material, which is available to authorized users.
B. Nagamine Á J. Cavender Á A. C. Bratanich
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Wyoming,
Laramie, WY 82070, USA
Center for Rural Health Research and Education,
University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82070, USA
Rudbecklaboratoriet, Department of Genetics and Pathology,
Uppsala University, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden
Division of Molecular Biology, Estacio
n de Fotobiologı
n, CC 15, 9103 Playa Unio
n, Chubut, Argentina
A. C. Bratanich (&)
tedra de Virologı
a, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias,
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Avenida Chorroarin 280, 1427
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arch Virol (2011) 156:1835–1840