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Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) and EHV-4 are genetically and antigenically very similar, but their pathogenic potentials are strikingly different. The differences in pathogenicity between both viruses seem to be reflected in cellular host range: EHV-1 can readily be propagated in many cell types of multiple species, while EHV-4 entry and replication appear to be restricted mainly to equine cells. The clear difference in cellular tropism may well be associated with differences in the gene products involved in virus entry and/or spread from cell to cell. Here we show that (i) most of the EHV-1 permissive cell lines became resistant to EHV-1 expressing EHV-4 glycoprotein D (gD4) and the opposite was observed for EHV-4 harboring EHV-1 gD (gD1). (ii) The absence of integrins did not inhibit entry into and replication of EHV-1 in CHO-K1 or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Furthermore, integrin-negative K562 cells did not acquire the ability to bind to gD1 when αVβ3 integrin was overexpressed. (iii) PBMC could be infected with similar efficiencies by both EHV-1 and EHV-4 in vitro. (iv) In contrast to results for equine fibroblasts and cells of endothelial or epithelial origin, we were unable to block entry of EHV-1 or EHV-4 into PBMC with antibodies directed against major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I), a result that indicates that these viruses utilize a different receptor(s) to infect PBMC. Cumulatively, we provide evidence that efficient EHV-1 and EHV-4 entry is dependent mainly on gD, which can bind to multiple cell surface receptors, and that gD has a defining role with respect to cellular host range of EHV-1 and EHV-4.