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During an infection of nonneuronal cells, bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) gene expression proceeds in a well-defined cascade. Products of immediate-early (IE) genes are expressed first, and they activate expression of early (E) and late (L) genes. Although the same cascade is assumed to occur during an infection of neurons in trigeminal ganglia (TG) of cattle, no experimental data is available to support this hypothesis. Consequently, we analyzed BHV-1 gene expression in bovine TG at 1, 2, 4, 7, and 15 days postinfection (dpi). Infectious virus was detected in ocular swabs from 1 to 7 dpi but not 15 dpi. By reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, IE (bICP4), E (thymidine kinase, ribonucleotide reductase [RR]), L (glycoprotein C, and α trans-inducing factor), and dual-kinetic (bICP0 and bICP22) transcripts were analyzed. When cDNA synthesis was primed with random hexamers, IE and E transcripts were detected at the same time. However, full-length and poly(A) + (FL&P) RR or bICP22 RNAs were detected before FL&P IE RNAs. Furthermore, FL&P IE transcripts were not detected until viral DNA increased in TG. IE transcripts were detected before E or L RNAs when rabbit kidney cells were infected with a low multiplicity of infection and the same RT-PCR detection method was used. These studies suggested that expression of full-length and polyadenylated IE transcripts in trigeminal ganglia was not efficient compared to that of RR and bICP22 transcripts.