Relative IgG titres to specific viral proteins in acute and convalescent sera from patients with primary and recurrent genital herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infections were determined using an immunoblot assay. Patients with recurrent genital infections generally had high titres of antibody reactive with two of the three major viral glycoproteins (gD and gG) as well as with several viral capsid proteins in both acute and convalescent sera. In contrast, patients experiencing primary genital HSV-2 infections exhibited marked differences in the polypeptide reactivity profiles of acute and convalescent sera. Of particular interest was the observation that the earliest and strongest antibody response was directed not against the viral glycoproteins but rather to an internal capsid protein(s) of HSV-2.


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