Ocular infection by HSV-1 strain McKrae is neurovirulent in both mice and rabbits and causes fatal encephalitis in approximately 50% of animals. In addition, it spontaneously reactivates with high frequency relative to other HSV-1 strains in rabbits. We sequenced the McKrae strain genome and compared its coding protein sequences with those of six other HSV-1 strains. Most of the 74 predicted protein sequences are conserved; only eleven are less than 98% conserved. Eight proteins were identified to be unique for McKrae based on sequence homology bit score ratio (BSR). These include five proteins showing significant variations (RL1, RS1, UL49A, US7 and US11), two truncated proteins (UL36 and UL56) and one (US10) containing an extended open reading frame. The McKrae strain also has unique features in its 'a' sequence and non-coding sequences, such as LAT and miRNA. These data are indicative of strain variation but need further work to connect observed differences with phenotype effects.