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Equid herpes virus 1 (EHV-1) related isolates from a captive blackbuck (strain Ro-1) and Grevy's zebra (strain T965) behaved similarly to EHV-1 and EHV-9 in respect to their host cell range. Restriction enzyme analysis and a phylogenetic tree confirmed that Ro-1 and T965 were identical and more closely related to EHV-1 than to EHV-9. Differences from EHV-1 became obvious firstly, by amino acid alignments revealing two unique substitutions in the gB protein of Ro-1 and T965. Secondly, an EHV-1 type-specific monoclonal antibody did not detect its antigen on Ro-1, T965 or EHV-9 infected cells by immunohistochemistry. The results support the view that Ro-1 and T965 isolates represent a distinct, previously unrecognized species of equid herpesviruses.