Blood and tear levels of immunoglobulins against herpes simplex virus (HSV) were examined in 28 patients with dendritic keratitis over a period of 28 days. By means of an indirect micro-immunofluorescent technique blood and tear HSV IgG were detected, but neither circulating HSV IgM nor local HSV IgA were found. Over a four-week interval non-diagnostic fluctuations of HSV IgG occurred in most patients, though seven (25%) developed a rising blood IgG titre. Tear IgG appeared to be an exudate from blood. HSV was isolated from 68% of corneal swabbings and 11% of conjunctival swabbings. This study provides guidelines for laboratory testing in recurrent herpetic keratitis.
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