The technique of in situ hybridisation was used to examine human trigeminal ganglia for the presence of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) RNA. The ganglia were removed from fresh cadavers of individuals without a history of current or recent herpes zoster. Of the various types of cell in the ganglia, only the neurons appeared positive for VZV RNA. 0 to 0·3% of neurons were positive for VZV RNA.
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