Characterization of a neurovirulent aciclovir-resistant variant of herpes simplex virus

Finn Grey, Mike Sowa, Peter Collins, Rob J Fenton, Wendy Harris, Wendy Snowden, Stacey Efstathiou, Graham Darby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A clinical isolate of herpes simplex virus type 1 that is aciclovir resistant but neurovirulent in mice was described previously. The mutation in this virus is a double G insertion in a run of seven G residues that has been shown previously to be a mutational hotspot. Using a sensitive assay, it has been demonstrated that preparations of this virus are able to induce low but consistent levels of thymidine kinase (TK) activity. However, this activity results from a high frequency mutational event that inserts a further G into the 'G-string' motif and thus restores the TK open reading frame. Passage of this virus through the nervous system of mice results in the rapid selection of the TK-positive variant. Thus, this variant is the major component in virus reactivated from latently infected ganglia. Mutation frequency appears to be influenced by the genetic background of the virus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1403-10
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue numberPt 6
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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