We studied the immunoglobulin response to individual viral polypeptides in experimental primary and secondary infection with herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 in mice. After a single footpad inoculation with 10 pfu of HSV-1, immunoglobulin to proteins mol. wts (10) 44 and 75 appeared on day 7. Antibodies to gB, gC, gD, 42 × 10- and (48–52) × 10-mol. wt proteins appeared on day 11 and antibody to the major capsid protein, VP154, appeared on day 15 after infection. The secondary immune response was characterised by early production of antibody to gD on day 3 followed by antibodies against the 42 × 10- and 44 × 10-mol. wt proteins on days 4 and 5 respectively. Antibodies to glycoprotein gC and gB were delayed until day 7 of the secondary immune response. In both primary and secondary immune responses the responses against proteins of mol. wts (10) 42 and 44 were particularly intense and of high titre. We conclude that the kinetics of anti-polypeptide antibody appearance is markedly asynchronous; and that the anti-glycoprotein responses occur too late in primary infection to contribute to viral clearance.


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