Since several human herpesviruses, including varicella-zoster virus (VZV), have been demonstrated to transform mammalian cells , VZV was tested in a mouse model of virus-induced cervical neoplasia to determine whether it is oncogenic . Herpes simplex viruses types 1 and 2 and cytomegalovirus have been previously shown to induce cervical neoplasia in this mouse model. VZV was propagated in WI-38 cell cultures and inactivated by ultraviolet irradiation. Control material was prepared in an identical manner from uninfected cell cultures. Cotton tampons, saturated with inactivated virus or control material, were inserted into the vaginas of C57BL mice three times a week for 60 weeks. Cervical dysplasia was detected in 40% and invasive carcinoma in 34% of virus-exposed mice by histological examination. No lesions were detected in control animals. These observations indicate that VZV, or some product of virus-infected cells, is oncogenic for the mouse cervix.


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