Mimicking herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 mucosal behavior in a well-characterized human genital organ culture

Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


We developed and morphologically characterized a human genital mucosa explant model (endocervix and ectocervix/vagina) to mimic genital herpes infections caused by herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2). Subsequent analysis of HSV entry receptor expression throughout the menstrual cycle in genital tissues was performed, and the evolution of HSV-1/-2 mucosal spread over time was assessed. Nectin-1 and -2 were expressed in all tissues during the entire menstrual cycle. Herpesvirus entry mediator expression was limited mainly to some connective tissue cells. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 exhibited a plaque-wise mucosal spread across the basement membrane and induced prominent epithelial syncytia.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

The Journal of Infectious Diseases