We have characterized Herpesvirus tamarinus (HT), a virus of New World primates related to herpes simplex virus. HT virion DNA cross-hybridized appreciably with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) DNA. The HT-HSV-1 cross-hybridizing DNA sequences were distributed over the length of the genome; some DNA sequences, however, were apparently more homologous than others. HT virion DNA was estimated from the sum of restriction endonuclease fragments to have a mol. wt. of 98 X 106. Only 1 molar fragments were found with some restriction endonucleases and 0.5 and 1 molar fragments were found with other restriction endonucleases but no evidence was found for 0.25 molar fragments. Independent isolates of HT from different species of South American primates gave nearly identical restriction endonuclease cleavage patterns of virion DNA. Although cross-reacting antigenic proteins of HT and HSV-1 were not detected by neutralization or immunofluorescence tests, cross-reacting antigenic proteins were detected by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of immunoprecipitates of 35S-labelled infected cell extracts.
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