, Volume 430, Issue 5, pp 417-426

Ultrastructural study of human herpesvirus-7 replication in tissue culture

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 Human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) was grown in a CD4+ lymphoblastic cell line (SupT1) and in cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMC). Virus infection was demonstrated by immunohistology with positive control sera, with monoclonal antibodies and by in situ hybridization for viral DNA. Cytopathic effects following HHV-7 infection generally resemble those after HHV-6 infection but are less pronounced. The ultrastructural appearance of HHV-7 and the replicative stages were similar to those described by Kramarsky and Sander for HHV-6. There were some minor discrepancies, including quite an extensive and space-filling tegument, a slightly different structure of the nucleoid, the frequent finding of nucleocapsids without any visible core and apparently scarce or delicate spikes on the envelope. These differences may suggest HHV-7 rather than HHV-6, but this finding needs confirmation. Mature HHV-7 particles measured 170 nm in diameter, with nucleocapsids of 90–95 nm and a tegument of about 30 nm.

Received: 30 September 1996 / Accepted: 8 January 1997