Absence of relationship between type-I interferon suppression and neuropathogenicity of EHV-1

Fatai S. Oladunni, Sanjay Sarkar, Stephanie Reedy, Udeni B.R. Balasuriya, David W. Horohov, Thomas M. Chambers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) infection is an important and highly prevalent disease in equine populations worldwide. Previously we have demonstrated that a neuropathogenic strain of EHV-1, T953, suppresses the host cell's antiviral type-I interferon (IFN) response in vitro. Whether or not this is unique to EHV-1 strains possessing the neuropathogenic genotype has been undetermined. Here, we examined whether there is any direct relationship between neuropathogenic genotype and the induced IFN-β response in equine endothelial cells (EECs) infected with 10 different strains of EHV-1. The extent of virus cell-to-cell spread following infection in EECs was also compared between the neuropathogenic and the non-neuropathogenic genotype of EHV-1. We then compared IFN-β and the total type-I IFN protein suppression between T953, an EHV-1 strain that is neuropathogenic and T445, an EHV-4 strain mainly associated only with respiratory disease. Data from our study revealed no relationship between the neuropathogenic genotype of EHV-1 and the induced IFN-β mRNA by the host cell. Results also indicate no statistically significant difference in plaque sizes of both genotypes of EHV-1 produced in EECs. However, while the T953 strain of EHV-1 was able to suppress IFN-β mRNA and type-I IFN biological activity at 12 h post-infection (hpi), EHV-4 weakly induces both IFN-β mRNA and type-I IFN biological activity. This finding correlated with a statistically significant difference in the mean plaque sizes produced by the two EHV subtypes in EECs. Our data help illuminate how EHV-1, irrespective of its genotype, evades the host cell's innate immune response thereby enabling viral spread to susceptible cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Equine
  • Genotype
  • Herpesvirus
  • Interferon
  • Neuropathogenic
  • Viral pathogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • General Veterinary


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