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The 150 kbp genome of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) is composed of a unique long (UL) region and a unique short (Us) segment, which is flanked by identical internal and terminal repeat (IR and TR) sequences of 12.7 kbp. We constructed an EHV-1 lacking the entire IR (vL11ΔIR) and showed that the IR is dispensable for EHV-1 replication but that the vL11ΔIR exhibits a smaller plaque size and delayed growth kinetics. Western blot analyses of cells infected with vL11ΔIR showed that the synthesis of viral proteins encoded by the immediate-early, early, and late genes was reduced at immediate-early and early times, but by late stages of replication reached wild type levels. Intranasal infection of CBA mice revealed that the vL11ΔIR was significantly attenuated as mice infected with the vL11ΔIR showed a reduced lung viral titer and greater ability to survive infection compared to mice infected with parental or revertant virus.