Quantitative analysis of herpes simplex virus in cranial nerve ganglia

Jeffrey T. Vrabec, Raye L. Alford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A susceptible individual exposed to herpes simplex virus (HSV) will develop latent infection in multiple cranial nerve ganglia. There are a few quantitative studies of the viral load within the trigeminal ganglion, but none that investigate other cranial nerve ganglia. In this study, human trigeminal, geniculate, vestibular (Scarpa's) and cochlear (spiral) ganglia were obtained from willed body donors. Real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of the HSV DNA polymerase gene was performed on ipsilateral ganglion sets from the same individual. Viral load, expressed as HSV genomes per 105 cells, was significantly greater in the vestibular ganglion (mean ± SD, 176705 ± 255916) than in the geniculate (9948 ± 22066), cochlear (3527 ± 9360), or trigeminal (2017 ± 5578) ganglia. There was not a significant correlation among ganglia from the same individual. The results support the hypothesis that neuronal subpopulations have variable susceptibility to HSV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-222
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Cranial nerve ganglion
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Quantitative PCR
  • Viral load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Virology


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