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Annu Rev Microbiol. 2012;66:153-76. doi: 10.1146/annurev-micro-092611-150051. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

Herpesvirus transport to the nervous system and back again.

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Department of Microbiology-Immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


Herpes simplex virus, varicella zoster virus, and pseudorabies virus are neurotropic pathogens of the Alphaherpesvirinae subfamily of the Herpesviridae. These viruses efficiently invade the peripheral nervous system and establish lifelong latency in neurons resident in peripheral ganglia. Primary and recurrent infections cycle virus particles between neurons and the peripheral tissues they innervate. This remarkable cycle of infection is the topic of this review. In addition, some of the distinguishing hallmarks of the infections caused by these viruses are evaluated in terms of their underlying similarities.

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