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March 1959

Immunologic Aspects of Herpes Simplex, Herpes Zoster, and Vaccinia

Author Affiliations

Beverly Hills, Calif.

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, (M. E. Obermayer, Professor), Los Angeles, and The Beverly Hills Medical Clinic.

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;79(3):299-304. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560150041006

The objective of this paper is to present data regarding the immunology of three cutaneous viral diseases. These data will be used as the basis for a brief discussion of certain methods of treatment of these diseases.

Herpes Simplex

A proper concept of the host-parasite relationship in herpes simplex infections is basic to an understanding of the immunology of this disease. The virus makes its original invasion between the ages of 1 and 5 years in a majority of persons. The usual manifestation at this time is a subclinical gingivostomatitis. Occasionally, the local symptoms are severe and require medical attention. Rarely, the virus invades the inflamed skin of a patient with a preexisting dermatitis. This latter syndrome is called eczema herpeticum. Because of the massive nature of the onslaught, toxic symptoms are more pronounced.

After this initial penetration, the virus goes into a latent state in a localized area

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