Bovine herpesvirus type 5 (BoHV-5) is the causative agent of bovine herpetic encephalitis. However, BoHV-5 is responsible for fatal meningitis in calves, while BoHV-1 is associated with infectious rhinotracheitis in cattle, and the mechanism by which the two viruses cause different symptoms is not well understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether peripheral blood leukocytes and tonsils are targets for BoHV-5 infection and to establish whether all stages of that virus’s infectious cycle can occur in those cell types. DNA was extracted from bull semen samples, and the glycoprotein D (gD) gene of BoHV-5 and also the thymidine kinase (tK) gene of bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1) were amplified by PCR assay. The ISH revealed the BoHV-5 US9 gene in the acrosome and tail of infected spermatozoa. Infected cells had increased BCL-2 phenotype cells from 48 to 96 h p.i., based on flow cytometric analysis. Furthermore, viral DNA was detected in 12/18 and 7/18 samples from BoHV-1- and BoHV-5-infected calves, respectively.
Occasionally, encephalitis caused by BoHV-1 has been reported. The onset of ICP34.5 expression from 1622-infected cells in vitro matched that of 17+, and its expression restored the function of maintaining protein synthesis in human neuroblastoma cells. Replication of 1622, however, was only partially restored to 17+ levels in vivo. Additionally, plaque morphology from 1622-infected cells indicates there is an additional defect. The authors report that the mutant virus 1622 can express ICP34.5 from a single gamma(1)34.5 gene and restore most (but not all) wild-type function. To evaluate the role of gI, gE and US9 in neurovirulence, a recombinant from which the respective genes were deleted (BoHV-5 gI-/gE-/US9-) was constructed and inoculated in rabbits of two age groups (four and eight weeks-old).