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Arch Virol. 1983;78(3-4):303-8.

Neurovirulence of herpes simplex virus type 1 depends on age in mice and thymidine kinase expression.


The susceptibility of mice of different ages (from four to 28 days) to infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) mutants inoculated onto scarified corneas was studied. The TK+ isolate from wild type virus was pathogenic in mice of all age groups. An HSV-1 mutant (designated TK1/4) with a less active thymidine kinase (TK) gene expressing 25 per cent of the TK activity of the TK+ isolate was pathogenic for mice up to 10 days of age. In older mice, virus pathogenicity was dependent on the inoculum dose: increasing the TK1/4 virus dose tenfold raised the level of TK activity and thus the virulence of the virus. A TK- mutant with no TK activity was pathogenic for four to eight day old mice that have TK activity in the brain, but not in older mice. Thus, resistance to HSV-1 that is age-dependent in mice can be determined by the extent to which the virus strain is liable to express its TK gene and by the amount of TK activity present in the brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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