The growth of varicella-zoster virus in human diploid cells was studied. Newly synthesized varicella-zoster virus appeared to be transferred from the perinuclear cisterna to the Golgi region of the cell, probably by a discontinuous route involving endoplasmic reticulum. In the Golgi, varicella-zoster virus and acid phosphatase, a lysosomal marker enzyme, were packaged together into small vesicles. These small vesicles apparently coalesced to form larger vacuoles. Virus particles were probably transported through cytoplasm in these vacuoles with lysosomal enzymes, and particles seemed to be released by exocytosis. Extracellular virus was pleomorphic. Rupture of lysosomes into cell cytoplasm in varicella-zoster virus infected cells was not detected. It is postulated that the presence of lysosomal enzymes and varicella-zoster virus in the same cytoplasmic vacuoles may result in inactivation of varicella-zoster virus during egress of the virus from the cell. This may account for the ‘cell-associated’ character of varicella-zoster virus infection in tissue culture.


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