Application of Competitive PCR to Cerebrospinal Fluid Samples from Patients with Herpes Simplex Encephalitis

Subject
Application of competitive PCR to cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients with herpes simplex encephalitis

Authors
Domingues RB. Lakeman FD. Mayo MS. Whitley RJ.

Source
Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 36(8):2229-34, 1998 Aug.

Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to determine if the quantity of herpes simplex virus (HSV) DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with herpes encephalitis would be useful in establishing the prognosis of the disease and to determine the effect of antiviral therapy on the clearance of viral DNA from the CSF. Quantitation of HSV DNA was done by constructing an internal standard (IS) from the glycoprotein B amplicon which had a 25-bp deletion between primer annealing sites. Each CSF specimen was coamplified with the IS and the ratio of the amount of HSV/amount of IS was compared to the ratios on a standard curve constructed with the same IS plus known amounts of HSV DNA. CSF specimens were available from 16 patients who were treated with intravenous acyclovir, and the amount of HSV DNA ranged from < 25 to 18,000 copies per microliter in CSF obtained before or within 4 days of the initiation of acyclovir therapy. Patients with > 100 copies of HSV DNA per microliter were older, were found by computed tomography to have lesions, and had poorer outcomes than patients with < 100 copies. Follow-up CSF specimens were available from seven patients. In six of these seven patients, the HSV DNA levels decreased during therapy. One patient had a twofold increase in HSV DNA levels after 1 week of therapy and died on day 8. The application of this assay may be helpful in establishing the prognosis and in the monitoring of patients with herpes simplex encephalitis.


Herpes Simplex Virus

***PLEASE NOTE: THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE DOES NOT HAVE AN ABSTRACT ***

Subject
Herpes simplex virus

Authors
Whitley RJ.

Source
CID 26:541-553

Abstract
N/A


Sorivudine vs. Acyclovir in Herpes Zoster in HIV

Subject
Sorivudine versus acyclovir for treatment of dermatomal herpes zoster in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients: results from a randomized, controlled clinical trial. Collaborative Antiviral Study Group/AIDS Clinical Trials Group, Herpes Zoster Study Group

Authors
Gnann JW Jr. Crumpacker CS. Lalezari JP. Smith JA. Tyring SK. Baum KF. Borucki MJ. Joseph WP. Mertz GJ. Steigbigel RT. Cloud GA. Soong SJ. Sherrill LC. DeHertogh DA. Whitley RJ.

Source
Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy. 42(5):1139-45, 1998 May.

Abstract
The present randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial was designed to compare the efficacy and tolerability of sorivudine [1-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl-E-(2-bromovinyl)uracil] and acyclovir for the treatment of dermatomal herpes zoster in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive patients. A total of 170 HIV-seropositive adults presenting with herpes zoster (confirmed by direct fluorescent-antigen testing and/or viral culture) were enrolled and randomized to receive a 10-day course of orally administered sorivudine (40 mg once daily plus acyclovir placebos) or acyclovir (800 mg five times daily plus sorivudine placebo). Patients were monitored daily to document the events of cutaneous healing, pain, zoster-related complications, and drug-related adverse events. Patients were reassessed on days 21 and 28 and then once monthly for 1 year. The primary efficacy endpoint was time to the cessation of new vesicle formation. Secondary efficacy endpoints included times to other events of cutaneous healing, resolution of pain, and frequency of dissemination and zoster recurrence. In a multivariate analysis, sorivudine was superior to acyclovir for reducing the times to the cessation of new vesicle formation (relative risk [RR] = 1.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.00 to 2.36; P = 0.049) and total lesion crusting (RR = 1.48, 95% CI = 1.07 to 2.04; P = 0.017). In a univariate analysis, there was a trend favoring sorivudine for the cessation of new vesicle formation (median of 3 versus 4 days; P = 0.07) and a significant advantage for time to total lesion crusting (median of 7 versus 8 days; P = 0.02). The time to the resolution of zoster-associated pain, the frequency of dissemination, and the frequency of zoster recurrence were not different between the two treatment groups. Both drugs were well tolerated. Sorivudine is an effective drug for the treatment of herpes zoster in HIV-infected patients and results in accelerated cutaneous healing when compared with acyclovir therapy.