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November 1983

Herpes Simplex Acyclovir-Resistant Mutant in Experimental Keratouveitis

Author Affiliations

From the Cornea Research Department of the Eye Research Institute of Retina Foundation (Drs Boisjoly, Park, and Pavan-Langston), and the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston (Drs Boisjoly, Park, and Pavan-Langston), and the Rega Institute of Medical Research, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (Dr De Clercq).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1983;101(11):1782-1786. doi:10.1001/archopht.1983.01040020784025

• Acyclovir is a potent and selective antiviral agent. Unfortunately, drug-resistant (acyclovir-resistant) mutants have already been reported in herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) orofacial infections. We have developed a laboratory acyclovir-resistant HSV-1 mutant. The natural course of acyclovir-resistant HSV-1 keratitis was found to be less virulent than that observed in wild type HSV-1 keratitis, but the rate of ganglionic latency was as high as that induced by the parental strain. In vitro studies and in vivo observation of rabbit corneas infected with acyclovir-resistant HSV-1 both demonstrated a significant sensitivity to vidarabine and bromovinyldeoxyuridine ([E]-5-[2-bromovinyl]-2'-deoxyuridine). The thymidine kinase activity of the acyclovir-resistant mutant was 69% of that of the wild type HSV-1.