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Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Apr 15;34(8):1055-60. Epub 2002 Mar 11.

Antiviral susceptibility of Herpes simplex viruses and its clinical correlates: a single center's experience.

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  • 1Servei de Microbiologia, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.


The in vitro susceptibility to acyclovir of 204 herpes simplex virus isolates from 165 immunocompromised patients treated at our hospital was determined by the cytopathic effect reduction assay. Approximately 95% of herpes simplex virus 1 and 73% of herpes simplex virus 2 isolates were inhibited by acyclovir at concentrations of <2 microgram/mL. From 8 patients (5%), an isolate with low susceptibility to acyclovir (50% inhibitory dose, >3 microgram/mL) was recovered. Medical records of 83 patients were reviewed. Lesions resolved in most of the patients, independent of treatment. Treatment failures were not always associated with isolation of an in vitro-resistant virus. On the contrary, when a virus with low susceptibility to acyclovir was isolated, resolution of the lesion was the rule. In 9 of 10 patients with subsequent recurrent episodes of disease, the susceptibility of the viruses isolated was similar to that of the first episode. Routine susceptibility testing in our geographic area is not encouraged because of the low incidence of acyclovir-resistant herpes simplex viruses.

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