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Virology. 1995 Jan 10;206(1):633-40.

In situ DNA PCR and RNA hybridization detection of herpes simplex virus sequences in trigeminal ganglia of latently infected mice.

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Jefferson Cancer Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107.


The presence of herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) DNA in the trigeminal ganglia of latently infected mice was detected by an in situ DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which includes a DNA:DNA hybridization step (indirect in situ PCR). These results were compared to the number of neurons possessing the HSV-1 latency associated transcript (LAT), as detected by in situ RNA hybridization with LAT probes. Sensitivity assays were shown to detect a single copy cellular gene in 48% of neuronal cell bodies. The results suggest that in situ PCR is an effective method to locate and detect HSV-1 within latently infected neurons. Moreover, the number of neurons found to be harboring HSV-1, by the method of in situ PCR, which does not depend upon virus gene expression, is within threefold of the number detected by in situ hybridization for LAT. Therefore, this report describes the first detection of HSV-1 DNA in latently infected murine trigeminal ganglia by the method of indirect in situ PCR, and compares the findings to the number of neurons expressing LAT, as assessed by conventional in situ hybridization.

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