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Herpetic keratitis, alias dendritic keratitis, has been one of ophthalmology's biggest problems. In this country it is not only the most common cause of corneal ulceration, but it is also the most common cause of blindness resulting from corneal scarring and secondary infection. Treatment heretofore by cauterization and debridement has been radical and not satisfactory.
It now appears that an antimetabolite 5-iodo-2'-deoxyuridine (IDU) is a potential inhibitor of herpes simplex and an effective therapeutic agent for keratitis caused by this virus. In the May issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology, Kaufman and collaborators1 report a well-controlled study of the treatment of experimental herpetic keratitis and cite preliminary observations on patients with this disease. The results have been most gratifying.
IDU is an effective antibiotic for the herpes simplex virus when used topically and may be effective for other virus infections as well. The idea of using thymine analogues to
HERPETIC KERATITIS AND VIRAL ANTIBIOSIS. JAMA. 1962;180(11):966. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050240062014
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