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Trifluridine decreases ocular HSV-1 recovery, but not herpetic lesions after timolol iontophoresis.

Author(s): Rootman DS, Hill JM, Haruta Y, Reidy JJ, Kaufman HE

Affiliation(s): Lions Eye Research Laboratories, Louisiana State University Medical Center School of Medicine, New Orleans 70112-2234.

Publication date & source: 1989-04, Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 30(4):678-83.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

To determine the effect of a topically applied antiviral agent on shedding of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) into the tear film and corneal epithelial lesions, ten rabbits latently infected with HSV-1 were subjected to transcorneal iontophoresis of 0.01% timolol once a day for 3 consecutive days to induce viral shedding and lesions. Iontophoretic induction was performed similarly in five uninfected rabbits as controls. Half of the infected rabbits and all of the uninfected controls received topical 1.0% trifluridine five time a day for 9 days, beginning the day after the first iontophoresis. All eyes were examined daily for 10 days by slit-lamp biomicroscopy and tear film samples collected on swabs were analyzed for virus. In the infected rabbits, the eyes treated with trifluridine had significantly fewer swabs positive for HSV-1 than the untreated eyes (P less than 0.001); however, there was no significant difference in the numbers of lesions in the treated and untreated eyes. The uninfected controls had no positive swabs and developed no lesions. These results suggest that topical treatment with trifluridine may reduce recovery of HSV-1 from the tear film, but does not affect the incidence of iontophoretically induced corneal epithelial lesions.

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