In a multicenter randomized clinical trial by Luyt et al1 published in this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, twice-weekly screening for oropharyngeal reactivation of herpes simplex virus (HSV) followed by preemptive treatment with acyclovir during 14 days did not increase the number of ventilator-free days at day 60 in patients who received mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit (ICU). The study informs a debate that has been ongoing for decades regarding the clinical relevance of HSV reactivation in patients without an apparent prior immunocompromised condition.
Ong DSY, Cremer OL, Bonten MJM. Preemptive Treatment of Herpes Simplex Virus Reactivation in Critically Ill Patients?—Not Based on Current Data. JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(2):272–273. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.6423
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