Saimiriine herpesvirus 1 (SaHV-1) is an α-herpesvirus of squirrel monkeys used in mice to study neural pathogenesis of herpesviruses. To trace dissemination of virus from a peripheral site of inoculation to the central nervous system tissues, a recombinant strain of SaHV-1 expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP) was constructed by site-specific insertion of a GFP expression cassette into a transcriptionally null point in the SaHV-1 genome. PCR and Southern blot confirmed insertion of a single GFP expression cassette into the target site of the SaHV-1 genome. The recombinant virus was shown to produce strong fluorescence in the cytoplasm of infected cells in vitro . Growth kinetic experiments demonstrated no differences between recombinant and wild type SaHV-1 in producing infectious progeny virions. The recombinant virus was comparable to wild type SaHV-1 in development of clinical disease, microscopic lesions and induction of an antibody response in mice following intramuscular inoculation. Using confocal microscopy, GFP expression was easily observed in formalin fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues of mice infected with the recombinant SaHV-1. This simple specimen processing technique preserves tissue morphology and allows detection of viral replication within various tissues of experimentally infected animals.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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