Construction and characterization of a replication-defective herpes simplex virus 2 ICP8 mutant strain and its use in immunization studies in a guinea pig model of genital disease

Xavier J. Da Costa, Nigel Bourne, Lawrence R. Stanberry, David M. Knipe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations


A replication-defective mutant of herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) was engineered by replacing the ICP8 gene of HSV-2 strain 186 with an ICP8 lacZ fusion gene from the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) HD-2 mutant strain. The resulting virus, HSV-2 5BlacZ, is defective for growth in Vero cells but is capable of growth in a cell line that expresses HSV-1 ICP8. In Vero cells, the mutant virus is defective for DNA synthesis but is able to express many viral proteins at levels similar to those of wild-type virus, including several of the late kinetic class SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis demonstrated the expression of glycoproteins B and D by 5BlacZ in Vero cells. Initial studies have shown that immunization with 5BlacZ protects guinea pigs from intravaginal HSV-2 challenge. Immunized animals had less severe genital skin disease and reduced replication of the challenge virus in the genital tract during primary infection and reduced episodes of recurrent disease. Thus, HSV-2 ICP8 shows gene regulatory properties similar to those of HSV-1 ICP8, and this HSV-2 ICP8 mutant virus shows a phenotype similar to those of HSV-1 ICP8 mutant strains. Replication-defective mutants of HSV-2 offer a potential vaccine approach for immune intervention against HSV-2 genital disease and latent infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 26 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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