Effect of acycloguanosine treatment of acute and latent herpes simplex infections in mice

Hugh J Field, Susanne E Bell, Gertrude B Elion, Anthony Nash, Peter Wildy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Systemic treatment of mice with the nucleoside analog 9-(2-hydroxyethoxymethyl)guanine (acycloguanosine [aciclovir]) was found to be highly effective against acute type 1 herpes simplex virus infection of the pinna. The drug ablated clinical signs and reduced virus replication both in tissue local to the inoculation site and within the nervous system. Provided that moderate-sized virus inocula were used, acycloguanosine treatment reduced or prevented the establishment of a latent infection in the dorsal root ganglia relating to the sensory nerve supply of the ear. However, although it aborted artificially produced infections in dorsal root ganglia, acycloguanosine was found not to be effective against the latent infection once established. This finding strongly indicated that latent herpes simplex virus in mice can exist in a nonreplicating form.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-61
Number of pages7
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1979


  • Animals
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Ear/pathology
  • Female
  • Ganglia, Spinal/microbiology
  • Guanine/analogs & derivatives
  • Guanine/therapeutic use
  • Herpes Simplex/drug therapy
  • Herpes Simplex/microbiology
  • Herpes Simplex/pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Time Factors


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