Herpes Viral

Eye Deceases

Herpes Viral [Herpes Simplex] (B00.5+)

Eye herpes is a contagious eye infection which is caused by the type 1 Herpes simplex virus. Eye Herpes is commonly caused due to close contact with the person with herpes infection. Eye herpes is also called as ocular herpes or Herpes simplex keratitis.

Herpes Simplex Virus Information

Virus Classification
Group: Group I (dsDNA)
Family: Herpesviridae
Subfamily: Alphaherpesvirinae
Genus: Simplexvirus

Herpes simplex virus 1 (HWJ-1)
Herpes simplex virus 2 (HWJ-2)

Herpes Viral Commonly Observed Symptoms

  • Pain in eyes
  • Irritation in eyes
  • Inflammation in cornea
  • Watery fluid discharge
  • Blurred vision
  • Redness in eyes
  • Photophobia

The infection progresses to swelling of the cornea and then blurred vision. The recurrence of the infection can cause severe damage to the eye. It can result in formation of ulcers in cornea and permanent scarring. It can force the blood vessels to enlarge over the cornea and lead to blindness. The worst severe infection leads to impairment of the vision.

Herpes Viral Types

Eye Herpes can be divided into three forms:

  • Herpes keratitis-It is most profound form of Eye herpes. It is a viral infection seen in the cornea of the eye. It infects the epithelium of the cornea and does not show scars after recovery. 
  • Stromal keratitis- It is caused after the infection is not treated quickly. It consists of the infection in inner layers of cornea. It causes scarring and proceeds to blurred vision and also can cause blindness. It is seen to be one of the major cause blindness in U.S.
  • Iridocyclitis- This is the most severe type of infection. It is a viral infection seen in eyes which involves iris and its neighboring tissues. The symptoms include inflammation of eyes, blurred vision and redness in eyes.

Sometimes if the infection occurs in retina, it is called as herpes retinitis.

Herpes Viral Treatment

The treatment of Eye herpes differs according to the severity of the infection. Antiviral drops and ointments can be used to treat Herpes keratitis which involves infection in the epithelium of the cornea of eye. Oral administration of antiviral drugs can also be helpful in Herpes Keratitis. The infection which occurs in the inner deeper layers of the cornea must be treated with steroid eye drops. This treatment also involves the use of antiviral eye drops at several intervals to control the infection. The use of steroid eye drops reduces the immunogenicity of the eye. If corneal scarring is seen, a surgery can be performed. Corneal transplant can be done in case of severe scarring due to severe viral infection. The infection can recur anytime in future and hence cannot be treated permanently. Early detection of the infection by observing the symptoms and treatment can prevent impairment of vision and blindness.

Herpes Viral Causes

Herpes Keratitis is caused by herpes simplex virus. Herpes simplex virus is seen to infect only one eye. Once the virus enters the body it remains in the body for longtime in an inactive state after the infection. It can go in an active state anytime further and show symptoms in the human body. The factors can activate the virus are associated factors which involve stress, fever, sunburns and shock caused after accidents.

Viral Genome

The Open Reading Frames (ORFs) of HSV-1
Gene Protein Function / Description Gene Protein Function / Description
UL1 Glycoprotein L Surface and membrane UL38 UL38; VP19C Capsid assembly and DNA maturation
UL2 UL2 Uracil-DNA glycosylase UL39 UL39 Ribonucleotide reductase (Large subunit)
UL3 UL3 unknown UL40 UL40 Ribonucleotide reductase (Small subunit)
UL4 UL4 unknown UL41 UL41; VHS Tegument protein; Virion host shutoff[17]
UL5 UL5 DNA replication UL42 UL42 DNA polymerase processivity factor
UL6 Portal protein UL-6 Twelve of these proteins constitute the capsid portal ring through which DNA enters and exits the capsid. UL43 UL43 [11] Membrane protein
UL7 UL7 Virion maturation UL44 Glycoprotein C Surface and membrane
UL8 UL8 DNA helicase / Primase complex-associated protein UL45 UL45 Membrane protein; C-type lectin[25]
UL9 UL9 Replication origin-binding protein UL46 VP11/12 Tegument proteins
UL10 Glycoprotein M Surface and membrane UL47 UL47; VP13/14 Tegument protein
UL11 UL11 virion exit and secondary envelopment UL48 VP16 (Alpha-TIF) Virion maturation; activate IEGs
UL12 UL12 Alkaline exonuclease UL49 UL49A Envelope protein
UL13 UL13 Serine-threonine protein kinase UL50 UL50 dUTP diphosphatase
UL14 UL14 Tegument protein UL51 UL51 Tegument protein
UL15 Terminase Processing and packaging of DNA UL52 UL52 DNA helicase/primase complex protein
UL16 UL16 Tegument protein UL53 Glycoprotein K Surface and membrane
UL17 UL17 Processing and packaging DNA UL54 IE63; ICP27 Transcriptional regulation
UL18 VP23 Capsid protein UL55 UL55 Unknown
UL19 VP5 Major capsid protein UL56 UL56 Unknown
UL20 UL20 Membrane protein US1 ICP22; IE68 Viral replication
UL21 UL21 Tegument protein US2 US2 Unknown
UL22 Glycoprotein H Surface and membrane US3 US3 Serine/threonine-protein kinase
UL23 Thymidine kinase Peripheral to DNA replication US4 Glycoprotein G Surface and membrane
UL24 UL24 unknown US5 Glycoprotein J Surface and membrane
UL25 UL25 Processing and packaging DNA US6 Glycoprotein D Surface and membrane
UL26 P40; VP24; VP22A Capsid protein US7 Glycoprotein I Surface and membrane
UL27 Glycoprotein B Surface and membrane US8 Glycoprotein E Surface and membrane
UL28 ICP18.5 Processing and packaging DNA US9 US9 Tegument protein
UL29 UL29; ICP8 Major DNA-binding protein US10 US10 Capsid/Tegument protein
UL30 DNA polymerase DNA replication US11 US11; Vmw21 Binds DNA and RNA
UL31 UL31 Nuclear matrix protein US12 ICP47; IE12 Inhibits MHC class I pathway
UL32 UL32 Envelope glycoprotein RS1 ICP4; IE175 Early-Immediate gene product
UL33 UL33 Processing and packaging DNA ICP0 ICP0; IE110; α0 E3 ubiquitin ligase that activates viral gene transcription and counteracts the interferon response
UL34 UL34 Inner nuclear membrane protein LRP1 LRP1 Latency-related protein
UL35 VP26 Capsid protein LRP2 LRP2 Latency-related protein
UL36 UL36 Large tegument protein RL1 RL1; ICP34.5 Neurovirulence factor. Antagonizes PKR by de-phosphorylating eIF4a.
UL37 UL37 Capsid assembly LAT none Latency-associated transcript