Human herpes simplex virus infections: epidemiology, pathogenesis, symptomatology, diagnosis, and management

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Nov;57(5):737-63; quiz 764-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2007.06.027.


Eight of the more than 80 known herpesviruses are human pathogens. Human herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a contagious infection with a large reservoir in the general population. It has a potential for significant complications in the immunocompromised host. In addition, psychological distress caused by the negative stigma associated with genital herpes and visible facial lesions in those experiencing frequent outbreaks renders it a challenging clinical dilemma. This article reviews the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and diagnostic features of HSV infections, providing the clinician with an up-to-date understanding of the available management strategies for mucocutaneous HSV-induced disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Demography
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Herpes Simplex / diagnosis*
  • Herpes Simplex / drug therapy*
  • Herpes Simplex / epidemiology
  • Herpes Simplex / etiology
  • Humans


  • Antiviral Agents