Effects of antiviral medications on herpetic epithelial keratitis in mice.Jpn J Ophthalmol. 2015 May; 59(3):194-200.JJ
Aciclovir (ACV), valaciclovir (VACV) and famciclovir (FCV) are used for systemic infections caused by herpes virus. In Japan, only topical ACV is permitted for use against herpetic keratitis. We investigated the effectiveness of topical ACV, oral VACV and oral FCV on mouse epithelial herpetic keratitis.
C57/BL76 mice were inoculated with HSV-1 McKrae strain in the cornea. Once infection was confirmed 4 days after inoculation, topical ACV, oral VACV and FCV were started and administered for 5 days. Control groups were given either topical or oral saline. On days 2, 4, 6 and 10 after medication started, tears, eyeballs, and trigeminal ganglia were examined using viral culture and real-time PCR.
Viral culture of tears detected no HSV in the topical ACV group on day 4 after administration start; with similar results for the oral VACV group on day 4; and the oral FCV group on day 6. Real-time PCR of the eyeballs showed significant decrease of HSV DNA copy number in the topical ACV group on days 4 and 6 compared to the topical saline group. Real-time PCR of the trigeminal ganglia showed significant decrease of HSV DNA copy number in the oral VACV group on days 4 and 6, and in the oral FCV group on day 6 compared to the oral saline group.
We suggest that 5-day administration of topical ACV, oral VACV and oral FCV are effective for mouse epithelial herpetic keratitis and sufficiently decrease HSV amounts in the ocular surface and eyeballs.