Herpesviruses use bidirectional fast-axonal transport to spread in sensory neurons

Gregory A. Smith, Steven P. Gross, Lynn W. Enquist*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

217 Scopus citations


Alpha herpesviruses infect the vertebrate nervous system resulting in either mild recurrent lesions in mucosal epithelia or fatal encephalitis. Movement of virions within the nervous system is a critical factor in the outcome of infection; however, the dynamics of individual virion transport have never been assessed. Here we visualized and tracked individual viral capsids as they moved in axons away from infected neuronal cell bodies in culture. The observed movement was compatible with fast axonal flow mediated by multiple microtubule motors. Capsids accumulated at axon terminals, suggesting that spread from infected neurons required cell contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3466-3470
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 13 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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