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Am J Pathol. 1979 Apr;95(1):67-80.

Pathogenesis of reactivated latent murine cytomegalovirus infection.


Sixteen weeks after inoculation, murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) can no longer be detected in the tissues of mice. However, a 2-week course of immunosuppression with antilymphocyte serum and cortisone acetate results in reactivation and dissemination of the latent virus in all animals. In this study of reactivation, MCMV was first detected in the liver, usually during the first week of immunosuppression, and virus replication was shown to be restricted to hepatocytes. Subsequently, a viremia occurred, with spread of infection to other organs. The highest titers of virus were reached in salivary glands in which replication occurred in serous acinar cells. In the lung, virus-specific abnormalities were difficult to detect because of superimposed bacterial and fungal infections. However, interstitial pneumonitis could be produced when cortisone acetate was deleted from the immunosuppressive regimen. Although the site of virus latency has not been defined, this model system will be useful for study of reactivation of latent cytomegalovirus infection.

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