• Corneal intrastromal inoculation of guinea pigs with approximately 104 plaque-forming units of live, adapted varicella-zoster virus (VZV) resulted in reproducible, acute, superficial corneal disease in all animals. The culture-positive VZV ocular infection progressed to involve 30% to 40% of the corneal surface in a diffuse punctate keratitis and 10% to 15% of this surface with microdendrites, characteristic of VZV-induced ocular disease. Retrograde dissemination of VZV to the trigeminal ganglia, midbrain, cerebellum, and superior cervical ganglia was demonstrated by whole-cell coculture VZV recovery. Central nervous system VZV dissemination, manifested by transient neurologic symptoms and pneumonitis, was evident in 60% of the animals. Varicella-zoster virus spread to the trigeminal ganglion during acute and early-latent infection was evident by electron microscopy.
Pavan-Langston D, Dunkel EC. Ocular Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection in the Guinea PigA New In Vivo Model. Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(7):1068-1072. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070020130046