Murine Gammaherpesvirus 68: A Small Animal Model for Gammaherpesvirus-Associated Diseases

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017:1018:225-236. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-5765-6_14.


Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68) is a naturally occurring pathogen of murid rodents that is genetically related to the human gammaherpesviruses Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Viral, immunologic, and disease parameters following experimental infection of laboratory mice with MHV68 closely resemble what occurs during primary EBV infection of humans, which suggests that MHV68 infection of mice offers a small animal model to study in general the pathogenesis of gammaherpesvirus infections. Diseases elicited by MHV68 infection include lymphoproliferative diseases, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and autoimmune diseases, ailments also associated with EBV infection of humans. Furthermore, MHV68 infection also is linked to the development of vasculitis, encephalomyelitis, and other disorders that resemble pathologies with viral and nonviral etiologies in humans. This review aims to provide an overview of MHV68-associated diseases in infected mice that may provide a model for understanding basic mechanisms by which similar diseases in humans occur and can be treated.

Keywords: Animal model; Epstein-Barr virus; Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus; Murine gammaherpesvirus 68.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / genetics
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / pathology
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / virology*
  • Gammaherpesvirinae / genetics*
  • Gammaherpesvirinae / pathogenicity
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral
  • Herpesviridae Infections / genetics*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / pathology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Tumor Virus Infections / genetics*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / pathology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology
  • Virus Latency / genetics