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Geldanamycin is effective in the treatment of herpes simplex virus epithelial keratitis in a rabbit model

Authors


Dr Xing Wu, Department of Ophthalmology, Division of Clinical Surgery, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Fuxing Road No. 28, Haidian District, Beijing 100853, China. Email: wxbich@yahoo.com.cn

Abstract

Background:  To evaluate the efficacy of geldanamycin eye drops against herpes simplex virus epithelial keratitis in a rabbit model.

Methods:  New Zealand white rabbits were randomized into four groups and infected with herpes simplex virus type 1; geldanamycin topical eye drops was initiated 24 h after the infection and maintained for 12 consecutive days. Four groups of rabbits received 5 µg/mL geldanamycin, 10 µg/mL geldanamycin, 0.1% acyclovir and escipient (a kind of artificial tears), respectively. The severity of herpes simplex virus type 1 epithelial keratitis was measured by slit-lamp and scored for statistics analysis. The virus shedding in eye swabs was isolated, and tissue culture infective dose (TCID50) was determined.

Results:  Geldanamycin (10 µg/mL) treatment reduced significantly the severity of herpes simplex virus type 1 epithelial keratitis than the other three groups. Geldanamycin (5 µg/mL) was as effective as acyclovir (0.1%) treatment. The effect of geldanamycin against herpes simplex virus type 1 epithelial keratitis correlated with accelerated clearance of virus of the rabbits.

Conclusion:  Geldanamycin is a promising treatment option against herpes simplex virus type 1 epithelial keratitis. Geldanamycin (10 µg/mL) is better than acyclovir and geldanamycin (5 µg/mL) in the rabbit model. The optimal concentration of this drug in human is still to be determined.

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