The rhadinovirus Ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) is the causative agent of sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever. OvHV-2 primarily affects ruminants and has a worldwide distribution. In this study, a composite sequence of OvHV-2 genomic DNA isolated from nasal secretions of sheep experiencing virus-shedding episodes was determined and compared with the sequence of OvHV-2 DNA isolated from a lymphoblastoid cell line derived from a clinically affected cow. The study confirmed the OvHV-2 sequence information determined for the cell line-isolated DNA and showed no apparently significant changes in the OvHV-2 genome during passage through a clinically susceptible species with subsequent maintenance in vitro. Amino acid identity between
the predicted open reading frames (ORFs) of the two genomes was 94–100 %, except for ORF73, which had an identity of 83 %. Polymorphism in ORF73 was due primarily to variability in
the G/E-rich repetitive central region of the ORF.