Dissemination of herpes simplex virus (HSV) in nude mice after intracutaneous inoculation in the midflank, and the effect of passively administered antibody on the course of infection were investigated. In untreated infected mice the skin lesions developed rapidly and HSV could first be recovered from the homogenate of the dorsal root ganglia on day 3 after infection, from the spinal cord on day 7 and from the brain on day 11. HSV could not be recovered from the blood, spleen or liver. In mice passively immunized with human gamma globulin, development of the skin lesions was rather slow and HSV could not be recovered from the homogenate of the dorsal root ganglia until day 16. From the results of explant culture of the ganglia, HSV was found to have reached the ganglia as early as 48 h after infection, even in mice administered human gamma globulin. The protective action of antibody seems to originate from the inhibition of virus growth not only at the inoculation site but also in the dorsal root ganglia.


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