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August 1979

Herpetic Ganglionic Latency: Aciclovir and Vidarabine Therapy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Cornea Research, Eye Research Institute of Retina Foundation, and Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(8):1508-1510. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020020170017

• This study reports the therapeutic efficacy of systemic antiviral drugs in reducing the incidence of trigeminal ganglionic latent herpes simplex virus (HSV) after ocular infection in mice. Aciclovir sodium, 60 mg/kg daily for five days starting three and 24 hours after inoculation, resulted in a significant decrease in recovery of latent HSV, 28% and 54% positive, respectively, in comparison to untreated controls, 100% positive. Initiation of similar therapy three weeks after inoculation for 5, 10, and 15 days resulted in progressive decrease in persistence of latent virus, being 100%, 33%, and 12% positive, respectively. Systemic vidarabine, 50 mg/kg daily for 15 days starting three weeks after inoculation, also resulted in a significant decrease of positive ganglionic cultures (60% positive) in comparison to the untreated controls. The results indicate that replication of HSV in the trigeminal ganglia in mice is probably continuous and that this reservoir of recurrent ocular herpes is amenable to therapy with systemic antiviral agents.

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