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Genetic variability of herpes simplex virus: development of a pathogenic variant during passaging of a nonpathogenic herpes simplex virus type 1 virus strain in mouse brain

Kaerner, H.C.; Schröder, C.H.; Ott-Hartmann, A.; Kümel, G.; Kirchner, H.

Journal of Virology 46(1): 83-93

1983


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-538X
PMID: 6298472
Accession: 043191049

Herpes simplex virus type 1 ANG (HSV-1 ANG) is originally nonpathogenic for inbred mice upon intraperitoneal intravenous, or intravaginal inoculation. In contrast, mice died of encephalitis within 4 to 5 days after intracerebral inoculation with this strain. HSV-1 ANG was serially passaged in mouse brains. In two independent series, peripherally pathogenic virus variants had developed and accumulated in the virus progeny after 12 to 15 intracerebral passages. In mixed infections both nonpathogenic and pathogenic viruses replicated at the primary site of infection and spread to various organs. However, only the pathogenic phenotype could be recovered from the spinal cord and the brain. Comparison of the restriction enzyme cleavage patterns of pathogenic ANG and nonpathogenic ANG virus DNAs revealed distinct alterations in the S-segment (US) sequences bounded by coordinates 0.953 and 0.958 in the prototype orientation and by coordinates 0.862 to 0.867 in the IS orientation of the viral genome. However, it is not known whether these alterations are physiologically relevant to the observed changes in pathogenicity. When coinjected intraperitoneally at 50 to 100-fold excess, the nonpathogenic HSV-1 ANG protected mice against its own pathogenic variant as well as against other pathogenic HSV-1 strains. Pathogenic HSV-1 ANG proved to be genetically and phenotypically stable for at least 25 serial passages in tissue culture at either high or low multiplicity of infection.

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