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July 30, 1973

Medical News

JAMA. 1973;225(5):459-468. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220320003003

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Photoinactivation of herpesvirus may be clinically hazardous  Physicians should stop using photodynamic inactivation for the treatment of herpes simplex infections until further information is available, a prominent virologist says.Fred Rapp, PhD, explained that recent experiments in his laboratory show that although photodynamic inactivation sharply reduces the infectivity of herpes simplex viruses I and II (presumably the reason that clinical infections clear up) the non-infective and probably defective virus is still able to "transform" normal mammalian cells into cells with new heritable characteristics and a loss of contact inhibition. These are properties often associated with a malignant potential."This suggests that photodynamic inactivation treatment of herpesvirus infections is potentially a hazardous clinical procedure," Dr. Rapp told Medical News in an interview.Dr. Rapp is professor and chairman of the Department of Microbiology at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, Pa. His co-workers in these experiments