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Open Access Murine Gammaherpesvirus 68: A Model for the Study of Epstein-Barr Virus Infections and Related Diseases

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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human gammaherpesvirus (GHV) that causes acute infection and establishes life-long latency. EBV is associated with the development of B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders, several malignant cancers, the syndrome of infectious mononucleosis, and chronic interstitial lung disease. Although the molecular biology of EBV has been characterized extensively, the associated disease conditions and their pathogenesis are difficult to study in human populations because of variation in human environments and genetics, the well-documented effect of stressors on pathogenesis, and the chronic and latent properties of the virus. GHV are highly species-specific, and suitable animal models for EBV are not available. However, in 1980, a murine gammaherpesvirus (MuGHV, also known as MHV68 and HV68) was identified as a natural pathogen of bank voles and wood mice. Experimental MuGHV infections in laboratory mice share many features of EBV infections in humans, including facets of the clinical human syndrome known as infectious mononucleosis. These features make MuGHV a valuable experimental model for studying the pathophysiology of a GHV in a natural host.

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Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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