Publication details

The treatment of HSV1 ocular infections using quantitative real-time PCR results



Year of publication 2012
Type Article in Periodical
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Field ORL, ophthalmology, stomatology
Keywords DNA diagnostics; herpes simplex virus 1; HSV1; keratitis; real-time PCR
Description Purpose: Herpes stromal keratitis is a serious condition and the most frequent cause of unilateral blindness. The real-time PCR is an accurate and fast diagnostic method for an analysis of infectious agents causing keratitis and keratouveitis. The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between clinical symptoms, treatment efficacy monitoring and viral quantity in corneal swabs determined by quantitative real-time PCR method. The real-time PCR method was used as well for the detection of other viral eye pathogens. Methods: A total of 212 patients (136 men and 76 women) suspect of having herpes simplex virus (HSV) keratitis or keratouveitis were included in the study. The detection and quantitative analysis of the viral DNA were performed using the EliGene HSV1 RT kit, and the result was correlated with the clinical picture of the disease. The patients were routinely treated with acyclovir applied locally or, alternatively, in systemic administration. In a case of acyclovir treatment resistant keratitis, the patients were treated with local ganciclovir (Virgan gel ophth 0.15%). Results: A total of 636 analyses of the viral DNA were performed; 85 patients were positive for HSV1 (198 detected). There were 16 acyclovir resistant cases of keratitis (14%). Conclusions: The real-time PCR appears as a fast and accurate method for an exact identification of the viral DNA in patients with herpes stromal keratitis. The introduction of the quantification is important for the treatment evaluation and for the specification of a so-called acyclovir resistant keratitis. A long-term systemic administration in maintenance doses may lead to the resistance and repeated, frequent relapses of the disease.
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