Pseudorabies Virus (Suid Alphaherpesvirus 1: Herpesviridae)
The alphaherpesvirus Pseudorabies virus (PrV) is the causative agent of Aujeszky’s disease (AD), an infection of major economic impact in animal husbandry. PrV’s natural hosts are porcines but it is able to infect nearly all mammals excluding humans and other higher primates Eradication of PrV infection from national pig populations has been achieved using ‘marker’ vaccines which allow serological differentiation between infected and vaccinated animals. This approach pioneered modern animal disease control. Moreover, genetically engineered modified-live PrV vaccine strains were the first genetically modified live virus vaccines to be used on a large scale. PrV is also used as a model for elucidating basic mechanisms of herpesvirus infection in vitro and in vivo. Taking advantage of the distinct neurotropism of PrV, this virus has also become a major tool in neurobiology to trace neuronal networks.