Molecular Anatomy of Viral Infection: Study of Viral Nucleic Acid Sequences and Proteins in Whole Body Sections

  • Peter J. Southern
  • Michael B. A. Oldstone


There are many examples of acute viral infections that have the potential to develop into prolonged latent or persistent infections. This transition is associated with reduced, or abolished, viral gene expression which probably explains, at least in part, viral evasion of the host immune system [1], Persistent infections have also been established by use of tissue culture cells in vitro [2], although the molecular details involving defective interfering particles may be substantially different from in vivo persistent infections as a consequence of modified selection pressures. In order to begin to understand the molecular basis of virus-induced disease, it is important to locate virus and viral genetic material within an infected host. Although there are several methods currently available to detect and quantitate viral genes, messages, and proteins during the course of infection, none is ideal. Here we will describe a novel approach using whole animal sections and compare the strengths and weaknesses of this system with other techniques employed for studying viral pathogenesis.


Persistent Infection Measle Virus Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis Body Section Animal Section 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Southern
  • Michael B. A. Oldstone

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