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December 1977

Association of HLA-A1 Antigen and Susceptibility to Recurrent Cold Sores

Author Affiliations

From the Rheumatic Disease and Medical Research Council Transplantation Units, University of Alberta, Edmonton. Dr Russell is an associate of the Canadian Arthritis and Rheumatism Society.

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(12):1721-1722. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640120089022

After a primary exposure to herpes simplex virus in man, a persistent latent infection may develop. In many subjects, recurrent viral activation and excretion then occurs often with evidence of recrudescent infection, ie, fever blisters or cold sores. This propensity to latency is seen with the herpesviruses as a group both in man and animals, but the mechanisms that underlie it are unknown and may vary with different viral infections. It has been suggested that susceptibility to recrudescent herpes simplex infection may be associated with a defective cell-mediated immune response to the virus, but we have not been able to confirm this. In contrast, there is now very convincing evidence that it is the immune response that may actually permit the virus to persist in a latent state.1 A linkage has been demonstrated in mice between transplantation antigens and some immuneresponse genes. Our current study was initiated to determine

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