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May 1990

Ocular Histopathologic Findings in a Case of Human Herpes B Virus Infection

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (Drs Nanda, Curtin, and Dix), and the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Neurology (Dr Dix), University of Miami (Fla); the Department of Virology and Immunology, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, Tex (Dr Hilliard); and Mary Washington Hospital, Fredericksburg, Va (Dr Bernstein).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(5):713-716. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070070099044

• A 37-year-old male laboratory technician who sustained a cutaneous penetrating wound from a rhesus monkey developed a progressive ascending encephalomyelitis due to culture-proven herpes B virus (Herpesvirus simiae) infection. He died 6 weeks after his injury despite acyclovir and ganciclovir treatment that was initiated after central nervous system symptoms developed. Histopathological examination of the patient's left eye revealed a multifocal necrotizing retinitis associated with a vitritis, optic neuritis, and prominent panuveitis. Herpes-type virus was identified in the involved retina by electron microscopy. Postmortem vitreous cultures taken from both eyes and retinal cultures taken from the right eye were positive for herpes B virus. Herpes B virus produces infection and destruction of retinal tissues similar to other herpesviruses. To our knowledge, this case represents the first histopathologic demonstration of herpes B virus infection in a human eye.

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