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Virology. 2000 May 10;270(2):454-63.

Immune protection against HSV-2 in B-cell-deficient mice.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.


The role of antibody in protection of the vaginal mucosa and sensory ganglia against HSV-2 infection was examined using HSV- immune, B-cell-deficient muMT mice. Significantly higher virus titers were detected in the vaginal mucosae of immune muMT mice compared to immune C57BL/6J mice 24 h after HSV-2 rechallenge. However, virus was rapidly cleared in immune muMT mice, and the infection was resolved with only a 2-day delay. Passive transfer of immune serum to immune muMT mice prior to rechallenge resulted in HSV-specific vaginal IgG levels comparable to those of immune C57BL/6J mice. Although transferred antibody failed to prevent reinfection of the majority of recipients, vaginal virus titers at 24 h and clearance kinetics were similar to those of immune C57BL/6J controls. Following vaginal rechallenge, HSV-2 did not spread to the sensory ganglia of immune C57BL/6J mice nor was the rechallenge virus detected in the ganglia of the majority of immune muMT mice. However, protection was severely compromised by T-cell depletion of immune C57BL/6J mice. These results suggest that HSV-specific antibody limits, but does not prevent, infection of the genital epithelia. Further, prevention of virus spread to the sensory ganglia in immune animals requires vigorous T-cell immune responses.

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