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The role of herpesviruses in ocular infections

Authors Farooq, Shah, Shukla D

Published 1 September 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 115—123


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Asim V Farooq1, Arpeet Shah1, Deepak Shukla2

1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Abstract: Ocular infections caused by herpesviruses are an important cause of morbidity. The majority of cases are believed to be associated with herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1), although HSV-2, varicella zoster virus (VZV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) are also associated with various ocular diseases. The ability of some herpes viruses to infect various anatomic regions of the eye may be facilitated by entry processes that are cell-type specific, and in many cases may occur more frequently in the immunocompromised. The elimination of the role of herpesviruses in ocular disease remains elusive, as they often develop life-long latency in a large proportion of humans. Experimental vaccines for ocular HSV have shown some benefit in animal models, a result that has not been adequately demonstrated in clinical trials. Meanwhile, ocular involvement in VZV remains unpredictable, and CMV retinitis continues to be an important cause of blindness in those infected by HIV.

Keywords: ocular herpes, viral entry, antivirals, epidemiology, seroprevalence, ocular lymphomas, viral vaccine

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