[en] A model of latent infection by varicella-zoster virus (VZV) was obtained in the adult rat. Inoculation of VZV-infected cells in the skin led to infection of the peripheral nervous system. Latency was characterized by a long-lasting presence of the viral genome, of selected viral gene transcripts, and of at least one viral protein in the dorsal root ganglia. Reactivation has not been obtained in vivo, but has occurred ex vivo after repeated stresses. Many similarities with VZV latency in humans were found, making this model useful for vaccine and antiviral studies.