A study led by Dr. Herbert Kaufman, Boyd Professor of Ophthalmology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, published in the January issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, found that 98% of the participants who are healthy individuals with no evidence of any symptoms did in fact shed herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1) DNA in their tears and saliva at least once during the course of the 30-day study. The study was undertaken to assess the frequency of shedding of HSV-1 DNA in tears and saliva of asymptomatic individuals.
While not the first, the researchers report that this study uses the most sensitive techniques in a cross-sectional assessment performed to date of the presence of HSV-1 DNA in the eyes and mouths of healthy individuals, in terms of population size and total samples collected.
HSV-1, and to a lesser extent, HSV-2 are known to be the leading causes of virus-induced blindness in the Western world, with approximately 500,000 individuals having herpetic eye disease in the United States. Humans are reservoirs for herpes viruses and shedding in infected individuals when they are asymptomatic is a major factor in the transmission of the virus.
Leslie Capo | EurekAlert!
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