Intratypic recombinant Theiler's viruses prepared between GDVII and DA strains were used to identify genomic sequences important in neurovirulence, virus persistence, and demyelination and to clarify the mechanisms involved in disease induction. The coding region between 1B and 2C of the highly virulent GDVII strain contains a determinant partly responsible for neurovirulence (early paralysis and death) which correlates with elevated levels of infectious virus and the presence of virus antigen within neurons of the brain stem and gray matter of the spinal cord. Both the GDVII and the DA strains of virus contain genetic determinants for late demyelination in spinal cord. However, quantitative analysis of demyelination produced by recombinant GDVII/DA viruses suggest that multiple gene segments influence the number and extent of demyelinating lesions
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