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Virology. 1991 Apr;181(2):793-7.

Detection and characterization of latent HSV RNA by in situ and northern blot hybridization in guinea pigs.

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Chiron Corporation, Emeryville, California.


Following intravaginal infection of guinea pigs, herpes simplex virus establishes a latent infection in the sensory lumbosacral ganglia. Using the techniques of in situ and Northern blot hybridization, we have characterized this latent HSV-2 virus and compared it to latent HSV-1 at the same anatomical site. For HSV-2, a single 1.8-kb latency-associated transcript (LAT) was detected. In contrast, as described for latent HSV-1 in the trigeminal ganglia of rabbits and mice, two HSV-1 LAT species were detected in the lumbosacral ganglia, an abundant transcript of 1.8 kb and a less abundant transcript of 1.55 kb. Despite these differences in LAT expression, the clinical course of the acute and recurrent genital disease was similar for both viruses. LAT was detected in 0.3-6.0% of the sensory neurons of sacral but not in lumbar ganglia. The abundance of LAT correlated with the severity of the initial infection, but not with the frequency of recurrent disease. Thus, vaccination strategies that substantially reduced or eliminated symptomatic disease following challenge infection appeared to block the establishment of a latent infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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