Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a ubiquitous human pathogen of skin and mucous membranes. In the present study, the genome of the HSV-1 F strain was cloned as an infectious bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone without any deletions of the viral genes. Additionally, a firefly luciferase cassette was inserted to generate a novel luciferase-expressing HSV-1 BAC. Importantly, the resulting recombinant HSV-1 BAC Luc behaved indistinguishably from the wild-type virus in Vero cells, and the luciferase activity could be easily quantified in vitro. Thus, this novel HSV-1 BAC system would serve as a powerful tool for gene function profiling.
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