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Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2004 Oct;47(4):453-68.

Current perspectives of herpesviral retinitis and choroiditis.

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  • 1Microbiology Research Centre, Vision Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.


Vision-threatening viral retinitis are primarily caused by members of the herpesvirus family. The biology and molecular characterization of herpesviruses, clinical presentations of retinopathies, pathology and pathogenesis including the host responses, epidemiology and the laboratory methods of aetiological diagnosis of these diseases are described. Clinical syndromes are acute retinal necrosis (ARN), progressive outer retinal necrosis (PORN), cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis, multifocal choroiditis and serpiginous choroiditis besides other viral retinopathies. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) retinitis is more common in immunocompetent persons while varicella zoster virus (VZV) affects both immunocompetent and immunosuppressed patients equally. CMV retinitis is most common among patients with AIDS. The currently employed laboratory methods of antigen detection, virus isolation and antibody detection by enzyme linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA) have low sensitivity. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has increased the value of diagnosis due to its high clinical sensitivity and absolute specificity in detection of herpesviruses in intraocular specimens.

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