Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Microbiology & Immunology

First Advisor

Page S. Morahan


Within the past decade, there has been increasing evidence which suggests that herpes simplex virus type two (HSV-2) is associated with cervical carcinoma. Because cancer of the cervix ranks as the second most common malignant disease of women, with 35 thousand new cases and 10,000 deaths per year, further investigation is warranted to determine if there is a causal relationship (Goldberg, 1976). Currently, most of the evidence which correlates HSV-2 with cancer of the cervix has been, for the most part, indirect: (i) there is an increased incidence of cervical anaplasia in women with cytologically detectable genital herpes infection, (ii) many patients with cervical carcinoma have a high titer of specific neutralizing antibody to HSV-2, (iii) HSV-2 has been isolated from a cell culture derived from one carcinoma in situ (Aurelian, 1976), (iv) HSV-2 membrane antigens were detected in a small percentage of cells from a culture not yielding infectious Virus. In addition to the correlative studies, the transforming capacity of HSV-2 for human embryonic cells has been clearly demonstrated in vitro, and (vi) hamster cells transformed in vitro by the virus have oncogenic potential when injected into hamsters (Rapp and Reed, 1976). Lack of more direct evidence in relation to human carcinoma, however, such as the inability to demonstrate hybridization of HSV-2 nucleic acid with that in the cervical carcinoma cell has left the issue of HSV-2 and cervical carcinoma cancer the subject of considerable controversy (zurHausen, 1976).


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Included in

Microbiology Commons