The majority of the human population harbors latent cytomegalovirus. Although CD14+ peripheral blood mononuclear cells have been implicated as sites of latency, the conformation of the latent viral genome in these cells is unknown. In this study, the conformation of viral genomic DNA was assessed in CD14+ cells from healthy virus seropositive carriers using an electrophoretic separation on native agarose gels in combination with polymerase chain reaction detection. Here we show that the viral genome migrates as a circular plasmid with a mobility equivalent to a circular 230- kb Shigella flexneri megaplasmid marker. Neither linear nor complex or integrated forms of the vital genome were detected. This report provides further evidence that the CD14+ cell population is an important site of viral latency in the naturally infected human host. Detection of the viral genome as a circular plasmid during latency suggests that this virus maintains its genome in a manner analogous to other herpesviruses where latent viral genome conformation has been studied.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1999|
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