The induction of herpetic keratitis in the rabbit or guinea pig serves as a sensitive index of the presence of herpes simplex virus in pathological material obtained from human lesions. Most work in this field has been undertaken with the rabbit, in which the development of keratitis is attended by considerable corneal destruction with profuse purulent exudation, chemosis, blepharitis, and often results in a fatal outcome due to the development of herpetic encephalitis.
In view of increasing interest in the therapy of herpetic keratitis in the human by idoxuridine (5-iodo-2' deoxyuridine), a number of experimental approaches have been made to the production of a standardized inoculation technique which would produce herpetic keratitis in the experimental rabbit. These have varied from scratching the cornea with a scalpel or similar sharp, pointed instrument (Corwin et al, 19631) to cutting a number of interlocking circles with a small diameter trephine (Kaufmann et
HARPER IA, SOMMERVILLE RG. Herpetic Keratitis Produced in the Guinea Pig by a New, Standardized Technique. Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;73(4):552-554. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970030554019