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Primary replication and invasion of the bovine gammaherpesvirus BoHV-4 in the genital mucosae

Yang, Bo, Li, Yewei, Bogado Pascottini, Osvaldo, Xie, Jiexiong, Wei, Ruifang, Opsomer, Geert, Nauwynck, Hans
Veterinary research 2017 v.48 no.1 pp. 83
Bovine herpesvirus 4, basement membrane, cervix, cows, epithelial cells, explants, fluorescent antibody technique, latitude, models, monocytes, mucosa, pathogenesis, titration, uterus, vagina, veterinary medicine, viruses
Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) is a gammaherpesvirus that is widespread in cattle. Ex vivo models with bovine genital tract mucosa explants were set up to study molecular/cellular BoHV-4-host interactions. Bovine posterior vagina, cervix and uterus body were collected from cows at two stages of the reproductive cycle for making mucosa explants. The BoHV-4 replication kinetics and characteristics within the three different mucosae of animals in the follicular and luteal phase were assessed by virus titration. The number of plaques, plaque latitude and number of infected cells were determined by immunofluorescence. BoHV-4 replicated in a productive way in all genital mucosal tissues. It infected single individual cells in both epithelium and lamina propria of the genital mucosae at 24 hours post-inoculation (hpi). Later, small BoHV-4 epithelial plaques were formed that did not spread through the basement membrane. 50% of the number of BoHV-4 infected cells were identified as cytokeratin⁺ and CD172a⁺ cells in the three parts of the genital tract at 24 hpi. Upon a direct injection of genital explants with BoHV-4, fibrocytes became infected, indicating that the unidentified 50% of the infected cells are most probably fibrocytes. In this study, in vivo-related in vitro genital tract models were successfully established and the early stage of the pathogenesis of a genital infection was clarified: BoHV-4 starts with a productive infection of epithelial cells in the reproductive tract, forming small foci followed by a non-productive infection of surveilling monocytic cells which help BoHV-4 to invade into deeper tissues.