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Acta Neuropathol. 1991;82(5):395-401.

Discrimination of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 cerebral infections in a rat model.

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Department of Clinical Virology, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


A rat model was used to evaluate intertypic differences after intracranial (i.c.) inoculation of herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 strains with regard to neurovirulence and neuropathology, and influence of age on susceptibility. In adult rats, HSV-1 strains were more virulent than HSV-2 strains. HSV-1 replicated to higher titers in the central nervous system (CNS) of rats, as compared with HSV-2. In rats of less than 2-3 weeks of age, HSV-1 and HSV-2 were equally virulent, but morphological examination of rat brains showed type-specific differences in pathology and viral distribution already at the early postnatal stage. After HSV-1 infection, neuronal infection of the hippocampus, followed by cortical infection and edematous destruction dominated, while a preponderance of meningitis and invasive encephalitis was seen after HSV-2 infection. We suggest that the rat might be a useful model for human HSV infection in the CNS with discrimination between HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections, also at the early postnatal stage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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