Tree shrew (Tupaia) herpesviruses

Dev Biol Stand. 1982;52:39-51.


Five Tupaia herpesviruses have been isolated until now: four in our laboratory which were termed THV-2, 3, 4, and 5, whereas THV-1 has been isolated by Melnick and his colleagues. THV-2 was isolated from tumour cell culture of a high-grade malignant lymphoma of a Tupaia, THV-3 was released from a cell culture of another Tupaia lymphoma, THV-4 from a spleen tissue culture of a moribund animal with finely granulated liver cirrhosis, and THV-5 from cultured spleen cells of an apparently healthy tree shrew. THV-1 to 5 were efficiently propagated, plaque-purified and cloned on Tupaia embryonic fibroblasts. The five isolates of Tupaia herpesviruses are easily distinguished from each other by restriction enzyme analysis of their genomes. THV-1 to 4 are highly pathogenic (lethality 100%) for juvenile Tupaias by intravenous inoculation. In contrast, only 25% lethality was found by intraperitoneal administration. THV-1 to 4 can persist as a latent infection in spleens of Tupaias and rabbits, which allows the recovery of infectious virus from cultured spleens of both animals. THV-2 and 3 induced hyperplasia of the thymus of rabbits which developed malignant thymoma in a few cases. The biological properties and genomic size and structure indicate that THV cannot be considered to belong to one of the three existing subfamilies of herpesviruses.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cricetinae
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Herpesviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Herpesviridae / pathogenicity
  • Herpesviridae / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / veterinary
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Tupaia / microbiology*
  • Tupaiidae / microbiology*


  • DNA, Viral