Latent acyclovir-resistant herpes simplex virus type 1 in trigeminal ganglia of immunocompetent individuals
Specific mutations within the hypervariable herpes simplex virus (HSV) gene thymidine kinase (TK) gene lead to acyclovir (ACV) resistance. To uncover the existence of latent ACV-resistant (ACV R) HSV-1, we determined the genetic and functional variability of the HSV-1 TK gene pool in paired trigeminal ganglia (TG) of 5 immunocompetent individuals. The latent virus pool consisted of a donor-specific HSV-1 quasispecies, including one major ACV-sensitive (ACV S) and multiple phylogenetic-related minor ACV S and ACV R TK variants. Contrary to minor variants, major TK variants were shared between paired TG. The data demonstrate the coexistence of phylogenetic-related ACV S and ACV R latent HSV-1 in human TG. © 2012 The Author.