Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 76, Issue 3, pp 405–419 | Cite as

Pathological processes activated by herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) infection in the cornea

  • Lulia Koujah
  • Rahul K. Suryawanshi
  • Deepak ShuklaEmail author


Herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) is a ubiquitous pathogen that infects a large majority of the human population worldwide. It is also a leading cause of infection-related blindness in the developed world. HSV-1 infection of the cornea begins with viral entry into resident cells via a multistep process that involves interaction of viral glycoproteins and host cell surface receptors. Once inside, HSV-1 infection induces a chronic immune-inflammatory response resulting in corneal scarring, thinning and neovascularization. This leads to development of various ocular diseases such as herpes stromal keratitis, resulting in visual impairment and eventual blindness. HSV-1 can also invade the central nervous system and lead to encephalitis, a relatively common cause of sporadic fetal encephalitis worldwide. In this review, we discuss the pathological processes activated by corneal HSV-1 infection and existing antiviral therapies as well as novel therapeutic options currently under development.


Herpes simplex virus Immune response Anti-viral therapy Pathological process Ocular herpes 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology and Visual SciencesUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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