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J Virol Methods. 2002 Dec;106(2):153-8.

A modification of the epidermal scarification model of herpes simplex virus infection to achieve a reproducible and uniform progression of disease.

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Department of Microbiology/Immunology, Northeastern Ohio Universities, College of Medicine, 4209 State Route 44, Box 95, Rootstown, OH 44272, USA.


A slight modification in the method used to remove the top keratinized layer of skin in the epidermal scarification model of HSV infection results in an easier, less painful, more uniform and reproducible means of infection. The back of mice was depilated and the top skin layer was removed either by scratching with the side of a 26 gauge needle, or by abrading with sand paper or a hand held motorized pedicure/manicure instrument. The virus was then applied on the scarified or abraded skin and the mice were observed for lesion development from day 3 to 10 post-infection. A uniform pattern of lesion development in terms of onset of lesions by day 3, progression to zosteriform by day 5 occurred for mice whose skin was abraded whereas variability in the time course, progression of symptoms and greater trauma occurred for mice whose skin was scratched with needle.

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