Suppression of generation and replication of acyclovir-resistant herpes simplex virus by a sensitive virus.J Med Virol. 2004 Jan; 72(1):112-20.JM
The role of acyclovir-sensitive herpes simplex virus (HSV) was analyzed in the process of its replacement by a resistant virus in vitro and in vivo in the aspect of acyclovir therapy. The mode of replacement of acyclovir-sensitive HSV with acyclovir-resistant HSV was examined by the passages of acyclovir-sensitive wild type HSV in Vero cells under acyclovir-treatment. The development of resistance was monitored more adequately by counting the number of acyclovir-resistant viruses in 10,000 plaque forming units than by the conventional susceptibility assay. The resistance increased with the proportion of thymidine kinase-deficient (TK(-)) viruses, when the susceptibilities of acyclovir-treated HSV population to 5'-iodo-2'deoxyuridine and phosphonoacetic acid were examined. The increased resistance was due to the increased proportion of acyclovir-resistant virus but not intermediately resistant virus. Infection with mixtures of TK(-) and acyclovir-sensitive strains rendered TK(-) sensitive to acyclovir, and virus yields were reduced to the levels of acyclovir-sensitive virus in Vero cells. Their yield reduction depended on the proportion of acyclovir-sensitive viruses and induction of TK activity. This reduction in virus yields of the mixture of TK(-) and acyclovir-sensitive strains was confirmed by acyclovir treatment in the skin of mice with cutaneous infection. Acyclovir treatment combined with superinfection of acyclovir-sensitive virus delayed the development of herpetic skin lesions due to acyclovir-resistant virus and reduced virus yields in the infected skin. Acyclovir-sensitive virus plays an important role in suppressing the generation and replication of acyclovir-resistant virus during acyclovir therapy.