The production of antibody to specific herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) polypeptides, the recurrence patterns and the susceptibility to re-infection were studied in the guinea-pig model of genital HSV-2 infection. Further, we defined the effects of acyclovir (ACV) therapy on these parameters of infection. Treatment with ACV reduced the clinical severity of the initial disease but did not affect vaginal viral shedding. Production of neutralizing antibody as well as antibody to the nucleocapsid protein, and glycoproteins B, D and G were all delayed in ACV recipients. ACV treatment of initial infection did not significantly alter the pattern of subsequent recurrence although by several criteria treated animals tended towards decreased recurrences. Re-inoculation with a second strain of HSV-2 resulted in a local cervicovaginal infection but, except for one ACV-treated animal, neural tissue was protected from re-infection.


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