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The absence of effective antibiotics for viral disease has been in sharp contrast with the dramatic control of bacterial and fungal infections by antibiotics. In the May Archives of Ophthalmology, Kaufman and associates present convincing experimental evidence that 5-iodo-2'-deoxyuridine (IDU) is effective when used locally against herpes simplex keratitis.
The corneas of rabbits were traumatized and inoculated by a drop of tissue culture containing a virulent strain of herpes simplex virus. Within 12 to 24 hours dendritic ulcers were visible. In all 17 controls treated by saline eye drops the corneal disease was progressive and severe, and the virus was recovered by culture. When IDU was administered two hours after inoculation and continued with 1 or 2 drops of 0.1% solution every 2 hours around the clock, small dendritic lesions that did not progress developed in only one-fourth of the eyes. When therapy was delayed 12 to 24 hours, all
SHAMBAUGH GE. The First Effective Viral Antibiotic. Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;76(3):198–199. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740050206002
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