The effects of eye and head X-irradiation on recurrent herpes simplex ocular infection in rabbits
Groer, Maureen W
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Eighty Four rabbits were studied over a period of 2 years for the effects of eye and head X-irradiation on their latent herres simplex ocular infection. Animals were infected intraocularly with herpes simplex virus and allowed to recover from the resultant keratitis. After the latency of the virus was established through daily culture of the eyes of the rabbits, the animals were irradiated. Irradiation was followed by periods of daily culture of both eyes. Eye irradiation of 200, 400, 1200, and 2890 roentgens produce no significant reactivation of the virus in the irradiated eye. On the other hand, head irradiation of 3000 roentgens produced recurrence of the virus in the eyes in a high percentage of the treated rabbits. This effect was reproduced repeatedly. Further experiments seemed to suggest that the virus was latent in the brain and could be reactivated in situ by X-irradiation of the brain. The infectious viral particles appeared to move preferentially to the site of initial infection, This effect may have importance in the fields of clinical medicine, radiation therapy and radiology, and in space travel safety parameters. Further research is planned.
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