Cultured human sensory neurons are directly susceptible to CVS rabies virus infection and produce virus yields of 10 p.f.u./ml; infection can persist for more than 20 days without any sign of c.p.e. The use of a compartmentalized two-chamber culture system, with access to either the cell soma or neuritic extensions, permitted the study of viral retrograde transport, which occurs at between 50 and 100 mm/day. Neurons of human origin were more susceptible to virus infection than rat neurons and the axonal transport of rabies virus was more efficient. Electron microscopy allowed virus transport and infection of human dorsal root ganglia neurons to be observed.


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