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November 1977

Herpesvirus in Sensory and Autonomic Ganglia After Eye Infection: Absence of Chronic Viral Shedding

Author Affiliations

From the Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology, the Departments of Ophthalmology and Microbiology, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1977;95(11):2053-2056. doi:10.1001/archopht.1977.04450110147020

• In herpesvirus hominis (HVH) infections, virus harbored in the sensory ganglia is now thought to be the main source of recurrent infection at peripheral sites. Experimental HVH infection of the external eye in rabbits produces an acute infection and then latent infection of the trigeminal ganglion. In this study, acute infection of the autonomic ganglia serving the eye (superior cervical and ciliary) as well as trigeminal ganglia occurred after HVH inoculation of rabbits' corneas with a herpes type 1 strain (RE). Latent virus infection was detected in the trigeminal ganglion of one of five animals tested six months after initial infection. Since the superior cervical and other autonomic ganglia serving the eye become infected during acute herpes simplex virus infection of the external eye in rabbits, it is possible that these ganglia are also sources of reinfection in recurrent herpetic disease of the eye.

Following the initial eye disease with this virus strain, HVH shedding could not be demonstrated even after Induction attempts by topically applied epinephrine or systemic use of cyclophosphamide. Thus, establishment of latent HVH infection in the ganglia and chronic shedding of virus into the external eye is not a constant feature of this animal model, but may depend on the specific strain of herpesvirus used.

(Arch Ophthalmol 95:2053-2056, 1977)

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