Ocular histopathologic findings in a case of human herpes B virus infection

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990 May;108(5):713-6. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1990.01070070099044.


A 37-year-old male laboratory technician who sustained a cutaneous penetrating wound from a rhesus monkey developed a progressive ascending encephalomyelitis due to culture-proven herpes B virus (Herpesvirus simiae) infection. He died 6 weeks after his injury despite acyclovir and ganciclovir treatment that was initiated after central nervous system symptoms developed. Histopathological examination of the patient's left eye revealed a multifocal necrotizing retinitis associated with a vitritis, optic neuritis, and prominent panuveitis. Herpes-type virus was identified in the involved retina by electron microscopy. Postmortem vitreous cultures taken from both eyes and retinal cultures taken from the right eye were positive for herpes B virus. Herpes B virus produces infection and destruction of retinal tissues similar to other herpesviruses. To our knowledge, this case represents the first histopathologic demonstration of herpes B virus infection in a human eye.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Encephalomyelitis / microbiology
  • Eye Infections, Viral / pathology*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / pathology*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Cercopithecine / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Optic Neuritis / pathology
  • Panuveitis / pathology
  • Retinitis / microbiology
  • Retinitis / pathology
  • Vitreous Body / microbiology
  • Vitreous Body / pathology
  • Wounds, Penetrating / complications