In vivo fitness and virulence of a drug-resistant herpes simplex virus 1 mutant

J Gen Virol. 2007 May;88(Pt 5):1410-4. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.82787-0.


Two important issues regarding a virus mutant that is resistant to an antiviral drug are its ability to replicate in animal hosts (in vivo fitness) relative to other genetic variants, including wild type, and its ability to cause disease. These issues have been investigated for a herpes simplex virus 1 mutant that is resistant to thiourea compounds, which inhibit encapsidation of viral DNA. Following corneal inoculation of mice, the mutant virus replicated very similarly to its wild-type parent in the eye, trigeminal ganglion and brain. The mutant virus was as lethal to mice as its wild-type parent following this route of inoculation. Indeed, it exhibited increased virulence. Thus, unlike most drug-resistant virus mutants, this mutant retained in vivo fitness and virulence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Genetic Variation
  • Herpes Simplex / virology
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / genetics*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / pathogenicity
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mutation*
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Virulence
  • Virus Replication


  • DNA, Viral
  • RNA, Viral