Mutants of HSV which are resistant to acyclovir (acycloguanosine) have been isolated following serial passages of several herpes simplex virus (HSV) strains in the presence of the drug. The majority of the mutants isolated are defective in induction of thymidine kinase (TK) and this is consistent with the observation that independently isolated TK viruses are naturally resistant to ACV. One mutant is described (SC16 RC) which is resistant in biochemically transformed cells which express HSV TK. This suggests that its resistance resides at a level other than TK. It is also resistant to phosphonoacetic acid, suggesting that the DNA polymerase locus may be involved. A further mutant is described [Cl (101) PC] which induces normal levels of TK, although the nature of resistance of this virus is not yet elucidated.


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