This study documents in detail the course of primary ocular and adnexal Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in 42 rabbits over a 15-day period. Eighty-four eyes and 252 glands were examined. The chronologic appearance of HSV in tear films, in lacrimal, Harder's, and nictitans glands, in the conjunctiva, and in the three corneal layers was determined by inoculation of specimens into monolayer cell cultures. Data was correlated with daily biomicroscopy of all animals. The results indicate that the adnexal tissues are the first to reproduce the virus, the tear films and glands being positive for HSV as early as ten and 16 hours, respectively, post inoculation, several hours before infectious virus can be recovered from the cornea. From day eight through day 15, of 96 glands examined, only one yielded infectious HSV; no other evidence of chronic infection was obtained. Quantitative determination of virus in the cornea showed involvement of all three layers which could be correlated with changes seen clinically.
Pavan-Langston D, Nesburn AB. The Chronology of Primary Herpes Simplex Infection of the Eye and Adnexal Glands. Arch Ophthalmol. 1968;80(2):258-264. doi:10.1001/archopht.1968.00980050260021