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Murine Cytomegalovirus and other Herpesviruses

Shellam, G.R., Redwood, A.J., Smith, L. and Gorman, S. (2007) Murine Cytomegalovirus and other Herpesviruses. In: Fox, J.G., Davisson, M.T., Quimby, F.W., Barthold, S.W., Newcomer, C.E. and Smith, A.L., (eds.) The Mouse in Biomedical Research. Elsevier Academic Press, San Diego, CA, pp. 2-35.

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Murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) is a very well studied virus of laboratory mice. The discovery of the cytomegaloviruses had its origins in early studies of the etiology of a distinctive cytopathology associated with intranuclear inclusions and cellular enlargement. MCMV research has benefited from the similarities between the diseases caused by human CMV (HCMV) and MCMV in their respective host species. There has been an increased awareness of the importance of HCMV-associated diseases in recipients of solid organ or bone marrow transplants and in HIV/AIDS, where HCMV is a very important cause of morbidity and mortality. The role of HCMV in inducing immunopathological diseases such as pneumonitis, retinitis, adrenalitis, and atherosclerosis has received much attention. Because of the strict species-specificity of the cytomegaloviruses, HCMV cannot be studied experimentally in animal models, and MCMV infection of mice has been increasingly used as a model of HCMV-associated diseases in humans. The strong growth of molecular virology over the past 20 years has significantly influenced the direction of research on MCMV. The genomes of MCMV and several other CMVs have been sequenced, and this information has been enormously valuable for understanding gene function, the relatedness among CMVs, and their evolution. The ability to clone the MCMV genome into a bacterial artificial chromosome has greatly facilitated the production of mutant viruses for the study of gene function, and the ease with which this can be studied in vivo in mice has been of great benefit.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Elsevier Academic Press
Copyright: © 2007 Elsevier Inc
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