This paper summarizes the history of and information on bovine herpesvirus type 4 (BoHV-4) from the first isolation to the most recent results. For almost twenty years BoHV-4 has been considered a typical herpes 'orphan' virus, which infects several species but causes no illness. The latest experiments revealed the close relationship of this virus with the immune system and other tissues. The virus was even considered as a possible candidate for a vector vaccine. BoHV-4 as a strange herpesvirus has several features which are not characteristic of other herpesviruses, such as several latency sites, persistence in serum, dividing cells necessary for virus replication, and the wide host range. In addition to describing the main features of the virion, replication, clinical signs, nomenclature problems, this review intends to concentrate on the new and strange results coming out from several laboratories worldwide. It is also suggested that because the virus combines several properties of various herpesvirus subfamilies and because of its close relationship with the immune system, it may deserve further attention as a representative of a potentially new genus within the Gammaherpesvirinae subfamily.
- Bovine herpesvirus type 4
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