Differences in neurovirulence among isolates of Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 in mice using four routes of infection

J Infect Dis. 1981 Nov;144(5):464-71. doi: 10.1093/infdis/144.5.464.


Differences in neurovirulence between herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) were investigated using recent clinical isolates and laboratory-passaged strains in intravaginal, intranasal, intraperitoneal, and intracerebral infections of mice. The HSV-2 isolates caused higher death rates in all four infections. No differences in death rate were observed between recent and passaged isolates of either HSV-1 or HSV-2. After intravaginal inoculation, HSV-1 isolates replicated to higher titers in the vaginal mucosa, but HSV-2 isolates produced a higher death rate and a greater frequency of latent infection in lumbosacral ganglia of surviving animals. After intranasal inoculation, HSV-2 isolates again produced a higher death rate, but the frequency of latent infection in trigeminal ganglia was higher with HSV-1 isolates. The data suggest that the HSV-2 isolates have an enhanced capacity to enter and replicate in the central nervous system of mice but that latency is influenced by both virus type and route of inoculation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Female
  • Herpes Simplex / microbiology
  • Simplexvirus / pathogenicity*
  • Virulence