Collagenolytic activity was demonstrated in the epithelium of rabbit corneas experimentally infected with herpes simplex virus in 19 of 20 trephined explants. Control epithelial explants demonstrated minimal to no collagenase activity. This finding may offer one explanation for the stromal ulcerations which can occur in herpetic keratitis. Possible mechanisms of this increased enzyme activity are discussed.
McCulley JP, Slansky HH, Pavan-Langston D, Dohlman CH. Collagenolytic Activity in Experimental Herpes Simplex Keratitis. Arch Ophthalmol. 1970;84(4):516-519. doi:10.1001/archopht.1970.00990040518023