Abstract

The human B-lymphotropic virus (HBLV) has a double-stranded DNA genome of greater than 110 kilobase pairs, which is consistent with its morphological classification as a herpesvirus. A 9000-base pair cloned probe of HBLV detected specific sequences in DNA and RNA of infected cells but did not hybridize to the genomic DNA of other human herpesviruses including the Epstein-Barr virus, human cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex type I, and varicella-zoster virus. Conversely, while probes obtained from each of the known human herpesvirus readily detected the homologous viral DNA, they did not hybridize to genomic HBLV DNA. This evidence, in addition to serological and morphological distinctions and the biological effects of this virus demonstrate that HBLV is a novel human herpesvirus.