Acetylsalicylic acid reduces viral shedding induced by thermal stress.PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of acetylsalicylic acid on ocular shedding of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Mice that were latent for the McKrae strain of HSV-1 were treated with acetylsalicylic acid, a nonspecific inhibitor of cyclooxygenases, either prophylactically or at the time of heat stress-induced viral reactivation. The effect of the drug on viral shedding in the tear film, infectious virus in the cornea and trigeminal ganglion, and viral DNA in the cornea and trigeminal ganglion was determined. RESULTS: Acetylsalicylic acid inhibited heat stress-induced shedding of virus in the tears and reduced the numbers of corneal and trigeminal ganglion homogenates containing virus. Intraperitoneal therapeutic and oral prophylactic plus therapeutic treatments were similar in their ability to inhibit reactivation. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that a cyclooxygenase inhibitor such as acetylsalicylic acid can reduce recurrent viral infection in mice. These findings may implicate prostaglandins as agents in the viral reactivation process and suggest that therapy to suppress viral reactivation using nontoxic inhibitors of prostaglandin synthesis may be effective in humans.
- Acetylsalicylic acid reduces viral shedding induced by thermal stress. Gebhardt, B.M., Varnell, E.D., Kaufman, H.E. Curr. Eye Res. (2004) [Pubmed]