Explant cultures of human trigeminal ganglia were derived from 36 individuals. Those cultures which failed to release herpes simplex virus (HSV) spontaneously were superinfected at various times after establishment with a range of HSV-2 temperature-sensitive () mutants. Eight cultures from six individuals contained HSV-specific genetic information which could be detected or rescued following superinfection. Restriction enzyme analysis of virus recovered from the ganglia of two individuals following superinfection was identical to that of endogenous HSV-1 spontaneously released from parallel cultures. Retrieval of virus by this technique suggests products of the superinfecting virus activated expression of whole genomes or that spontaneous virus expression occurred unrelated to the act of superinfection.


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