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Daniel E. Bustos, Sally S. Atherton; Detection of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Human Ciliary Ganglia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(7):2244-2249.
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purpose. To determine whether herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) DNA is present in the ciliary ganglion (CG).
methods. Fifty CG and 47 trigeminal ganglia (TG) were resected from 63 formalin-fixed cadavers between 56 and 98 years of age that had been embalmed within 12 hours of death. The donors had no known active HSV infection at the time of death. DNA was extracted from all ganglia by proteinase-K digestion (TG) or digestion by a mild lysis buffer (CG). DNA was amplified by polymerase chain reaction for sequences from human chromosome 18, D18S1259 (positive control), and from the HSV-1 DNA polymerase gene, UL30. The amplified DNA was separated by agarose gel electrophoresis, transferred to nylon membranes, and hybridized with the appropriate digoxigenin-labeled probe that was detected by alkaline phosphatase-conjugated monoclonal antibody.
results. The D18S1259 sequence was amplified from 47 TG and 30 CG samples. Of these samples, 32 (68.0%) of the 47 TG samples and 20 (66.6%) of the 30 CG samples were positive for the UL30 HSV-1 sequence.
conclusions. Using amplification of HSV-1 DNA as a surrogate marker of latency, the finding that the frequency of HSV-1 in the CG was approximately the same as that of the TG suggests that the CG may be an additional site of HSV-1 latency in humans. Active infection in or reactivation of HSV-1 from non-TG sites may explain why this virus is able to infect sites, such as the retina, that have no direct connections to the trigeminal nerve.
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