During primary ocular infection of mice with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) strain McKrae, dendritic corneal ulcers developed and many eyes became permanently damaged. When primary infection had subsided, latent infection was detected in the three parts of the trigeminal ganglion and in the superior cervical ganglion. Such latently infected mice were treated with cyclophosphamide, dexamethasone and u.v. irradiation, or cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone alone. After treatment with immunosuppressive drugs and u.v. irradiation infectious virus was isolated from the ophthalmic part of the trigeminal ganglion, and in eyelids and eyewashings; recurrent herpetic eye disease was seen but only in eyes undamaged by primary infection. After treatment with cyclophosphamide and dexamethasone alone there was a lower incidence of virus isolated from eyewashings and no recurrent disease was seen. There was a good correlation between the pattern and distribution of recurrent lesions and the distribution of cells stained due to the presence of virus antigens.


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