Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a neurotropic human alphaherpesvirus and the causative agent of varicella and herpes zoster. VZV reactivation from latency in sensory nerve ganglia is a direct consequence of VZV neurotropism. Investigation of VZV neuropathogenesis by infection of human dorsal root ganglion xenografts in immunocompromised (SCID) mice has provided a novel system in which to examine VZV neurotropism. Experimental infection with recombinant VZV mutants with targeted deletions or mutations of specific genes or regulatory elements provides an opportunity to assess gene candidates that may mediate neurotropism and neurovirulence. The SCID mouse-human DRG xenograft model may aid in the development of clinical strategies in the management of herpes zoster as well as in the development of "second generation" neuroattenuated vaccines.
View details for DOI 10.1007/82_2009_8
View details for Web of Science ID 000282104800016
View details for PubMedID 20225014