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.
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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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