1887

Abstract

The geographical distribution of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) variants BgK and BgO and the high relative frequency (RF) of BgK in orolabial lesions has led to a dispersion–replacement hypothesis for these variants. The pathogenic properties of HSV-1 variants in mice and professional sumo wrestlers were examined here. The wrestlers herpes gladiatorum (HG) was caused by primary and non-primary HSV-1 infections and recurred in many wrestlers. HSV-1 neutralizing antibody titres in sera from wrestlers who did not develop HG were relatively high. HG was caused by distinct HSV-1 variants and strains from wrestlers living in the same sumo stable. The BgK RF was significantly higher in HG cases, particularly in those with Kaposi's varicelliform eruption. These data indicated that reactivation and transmission of latent HSV-1 infections, especially BgK, occurred frequently among wrestlers and was caused by severe skin damage. These results support the BgK dispersion hypothesis.

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2008-10-01
2019-10-21
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