Molecular and biological characterization of a new isolate of guinea pig cytomegalovirus

Mark R Schleiss, Shane C McAllister, Anibal G Armien, Nelmary Hernandez-Alvarado, Claudia L Fernandez Alarcon, Jason C. Zabeli, Thiruvarangan Ramaraj, John A. Crow, Michael A. McVoy

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Abstract

Development of a vaccine against congenital infection with human cytomegalovirus is complicated by the issue of re-infection, with subsequent vertical transmission, in women with pre-conception immunity to the virus. The study of experimental therapeutic prevention of re-infection would ideally be undertaken in a small animal model, such as the guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV) model, prior to human clinical trials. However, the ability to model re-infection in the GPCMV model has been limited by availability of only one strain of virus, the 22122 strain, isolated in 1957. In this report, we describe the isolation of a new GPCMV strain, the CIDMTR strain. This strain demonstrated morphological characteristics of a typical Herpesvirinae by electron microscopy. Illumina and PacBio sequencing demonstrated a genome of 232,778 nt. Novel open reading frames ORFs not found in reference strain 22122 included an additional MHC Class I homolog near the right genome terminus. The CIDMTR strain was capable of dissemination in immune compromised guinea pigs, and was found to be capable of congenital transmission in GPCMV-immune dams previously infected with salivary gland-adapted strain 22122 virus. The availability of a new GPCMV strain should facilitate study of re-infection in this small animal model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-475
Number of pages28
JournalViruses
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 10 2014

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Keywords

  • CMV immune evasion
  • Congenital CMV vaccines
  • Congenital cytomegalovirus infection
  • Cytomegalovirus strain variation
  • Guinea pig cytomegalovirus

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