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December 2000

What Triggers Recurrences of Herpes Simplex Keratitis

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

Arch Ophthalmol. 2000;118(12):1682. doi:10.1001/archopht.118.12.1682

The molecular and biochemical mechanisms of reactivation of latent herpes simplex virus are the subject of intense scrutiny, yet important questions remain.1-4 Equally little is known about the environmental triggers that cause recurrent infections. Most studies have focused on recurrences of genital and labial herpes simplex. The study by the Herpetic Eye Disease Study Group5 is one of only a few looking at potential triggers of herpes simplex recurrences in the eye. To my knowledge, it is certainly the best designed of the ocular studies to date. However, the limitations of this article are a good example of the difficulties presented by the investigation of important, yet relatively uncommon diseases. The study's objectives were ambitious, but they required the measurement of exposure variables that are notoriously elusive, and they relied on patient recall of exposure variables during 1 week.