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Question about HSV Virus action

Tim Fitzmaurice tjf11 at cus.cam.ac.uk
Sun Nov 23 17:11:04 EST 2003

On 12 Nov 2003, JB wrote:

> Does HSV retreat into the Nervous system? 

At the level of the infection and outbreak, yes...at the level of a virus
particle basically no, since it is not needed.

> I'm unclear as to how this virus acts. 
> Does the DNA expression create the virus particles, which then travel
> a nerve and infect the normal skin cells? After which residual
> particles retreat back into the ganglia ending the episode?

Latent DNA in the nerve cell activates, starts copying itself and sends
those copies out to be coated with the protein capsid, then the membrane
envelope and then goes on to infect skin cells.
THere will still be a copy/copies of the HSV DNA left in the nerve cell.
So essentially.... what you write below is correct.

> Or do all of the particles die off in the natural course of infection?
> Ending the episode, but leaving the DNA form intact to respawn new
> particles.

THe copy number (Im told by people who have looked) changes over time....I
don't know whether that is because of extra copies that stay in there
after reactivation or virus that aborts or virus retreating. I'd guess
most likely the first but I don't know of anyone having looked
specifically at that.

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