Herpesviruses, previously isolated from cattle (Theodoridis, 1978), were further studied and provisionally placed in the bovid herpesvirus 4 (BHV-4) group. Major differences were found between IBR-IPV (BHV-1) and BHV-4 virus strains. In MDBK cells, all BHV-4 strains started growing at the edges of the culture, the process progressing slowly until destruction of the cells was complete by the 10th day. BHV-4 strains failed to induce neutralizing antibodies in cattle, goats and rabbits. Only the addition of mineral oil adjuvant induced neutralizing and complement fixing antibodies in goats. BHV-1 strains, in contrast, produced very potent antisera in all these systems. Cross-neutralization tests indicated the existence of 2 distinct serological groups representing BHV-1 and BHV-4. The BHV-4 strains appear to be interrelated and they could not be grouped. A BHV -1 strain showed fixation of complement with the antisera of 6 BHV-4 strains. Electron micrographs showed an accumulation of nucleocapsids in the cytoplasm and an early release of virus particles due to cell destruction. Variation in incubation temperature had a significant effect on the particle formation. At lower temperatures, the number of enveloped particles in the cytoplasm increased. On the basis of the characteristics uncovered in this study, it is possible that all the BHV -4 strains represent one and the same virus which has undergone certain biological changes, thus illustrating a phenomenon which appears to be a characteristic of the herpesviruses.
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