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J Gen Virol. 1998 Mar;79 ( Pt 3):561-4.

Precipitous clearance of herpes simplex virus antigens from the peripheral nervous systems of experimentally infected C57BL/10 mice.

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  • 1Infectious Diseases Laboratories, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, SA, Australia.


Clearance of herpes simplex virus (HSV) from spinal ganglia of experimentally infected mice is known to be dependent on CD8+ T-cells but not on destruction of infected neurons, consistent with a non-cytolytic Tc2 response in the peripheral nervous system. Here, we demonstrate the striking rapidity of such a response in C57BL/10 mice. The number of neurons containing viral DNA and viral antigens increased until 136 h after inoculation of virulent HSV type 1 (strain SC16) into flank skin. Subsequent disappearance of HSV DNA and antigens from infected ganglia was virtually complete only 8 h later. A consistent and unexpected observation was detection of viral antigens in sensory nerve axons for at least 8 h after their disappearance from neuronal somas, raising the intriguing possibility that virus or viral proteins may be transported distally after infection has been terminated.

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