Immunohistochemical investigation showed that intranasal inoculation of mice with a temperature-sensitive (ts) mutant of parainfluenza type 1 vaccine virus resulted in infection of some olfactory neurons as well as respiratory epithelial cells. It also disclosed the presence of viral antigens in glomeruli of the olfactory bulb but not in the secondary neurons (mitral and tufted cells). Polymerase chain reaction demonstrated the persistence of virus-specific nucleic acids in the olfactory bulb. These observations lead to the conclusion that parainfluenza virus, even with a ts phenotype, gains access to the central nervous system by infecting olfactory neurons.


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