Herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 infection in human oral mucosa in culture

J Oral Pathol Med. 1991 Feb;20(2):68-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.1991.tb00892.x.


To examine the sensitivity of human oral mucosa to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) infection, human gingival mucosa explants were infected with either HSV-1 or HSV-2 in vitro and the expression of virus specific antigen was examined by the immunofluorescent antibody technique. HSV-2 antigen was found in the basement membrane, basal cell layer and lower prickle cell layer. This finding was consistent with the HSV-1 infection. Electron microscopic study revealed the presence of nucleocapsids and enveloped virus particles in the basal cells of HSV-2-infected organ cultures. These findings indicate that human gingival mucosa is sensitive to infection with HSV-2, as well as HSV-1, and that the virus may replicate in the undifferentiated epithelial cells of mucosal epithelium.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child
  • Culture Techniques
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mouth Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Simplexvirus / ultrastructure
  • Stomatitis, Herpetic / microbiology*
  • Virion / ultrastructure


  • Antigens, Viral