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J Infect Dis. 2006 Sep 15;194 Suppl 1:S11-8.

The cycle of human herpes simplex virus infection: virus transport and immune control.

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Centre for Virus Research, Westmead Millennium Institute, University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital, Sydney, 2145, Australia.


After infection of skin or mucosa, herpes simplex virus enters the sensory nerve endings and is conveyed by retrograde axonal transport to the dorsal root ganglion, where the virus develops lifelong latency. Intermittent reactivation, which is spontaneous in humans, leads to anterograde transport of virus particles and proteins to the skin or mucosa, where the virus is shed and/or causes disease. Immune control of viral infection and replication occurs at the level of skin or mucosa during initial or recurrent infection and also within the dorsal root ganglion, where immune mechanisms control latency and reactivation. This article examines current views on the mechanisms of retrograde and anterograde transport of the virus in axons and the mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunity that control infection in the skin or mucosa and in the dorsal root ganglion--in particular, the role of interferons, myeloid and plasmacytoid dendritic cells, CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, and interferon- gamma and other cytokines, including their significance in the development of vaccines for genital herpes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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