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Traditional herbal medicines with anti-herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) activity in vivo were examined for their prophylactic effects on recurrent HSV-1 infection in mice. Mice were intradermally infected with HSV-1 in the pinna and recurrent HSV-1 disease was induced by ultraviolet irradiation. Herbal extracts arrested the progression of recurrent HSV-1 disease, reduced the incidence of severe erythema and/or vesicles in the pinna, and/or shortened the period of severe recurrent lesions compared with water-administered mice (P < 0.01 or 0.05). Similarly, the prophylactic treatment of herbal extracts limited the development of recurrent skin lesions induced by stripping with cellophane tape physically. The prophylactic efficacy on recurrence was confirmed by the absence of HSV DNA in the skin lesions. HSV-1 genome was revealed to exist in the trigeminal ganglia but not in the pinna of latently infected mice before stimuli by a nested-polymerase chain reaction assay. After stimuli, HSV-1 genome was detected in both pinna and trigeminal ganglia of latently infected mice administered with water. However, prophylactic treatment decreased the rate of detection of HSV-1 genome in the stimulated pinna. Thus, the herbal extracts exhibited prophylactic efficacy against recurrent HSV-1 disease in mice and modulated the recurrent HSV-1 infection.
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Accepted: May 27, 1996
Received in revised form: May 16, 1996
Received: March 28, 1996
© 1997 Published by Elsevier Inc.