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Sequence analysis identified significant variation in the second exon of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) rev. Functional analysis indicated that limited amino acid variation in Rev significantly altered the export activity of the protein but did not affect Rev-dependent alternative splicing. EIAV Rev can mediate export through two independent cis -acting Rev-responsive elements (RREs), and differences among Rev variants were more pronounced when both RREs were present. Variation in Rev may be an important mechanism for regulation of virus replication in vivo and may contribute to changes in clinical disease.