Latent infections have been established in cervical dorsal root ganglia of Balb/c mice following peripheral inoculation of mutants of HSV-1. Activation of the mutant LS2 at the non-permissive temperature by culture of excised ganglia, or by neurosurgery has allowed the unambiguous identification of the neuron as the site of latent infection. Evidence is presented which shows that activation of virus infection in latently infected ganglia by neurosurgery results in a reduction of the number of latent foci in that ganglion. One interpretation of this observation is that the productive infection which follows activation of latent virus in the neuron leads to the destruction of that cell.


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