The identification of human herpes virus (HHV) infections can be traced back to ancient Greece where Herpes simplex vims (HSV) infections in humans were first documented. Hippocrates used the word "herpes", meaning to creep or crawl, to describe spreading skin lesions. Although the vesicular nature of lesions associated with HSV infections had been well documented in the late eighteenth century, person-to-person transmission of HSV was only first recognised by Vidal in 18931 HSV was first isolated in 1919,2 but decades passed before it was demonstrated that there were in fact two serotypes ofHSV, HSV-1 and HSV- 2.3 Over time, several other members of the HI-IV family have been identified. The latest member, HHV-8, was only identified last decade.4 The major laboratory advances of the past 20 years have enabled a torrent of new insights into the biological properties ofHHV.

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A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Maertzdorf, J. (2002, December 19). Pathogenesis of herpes simplex virus infections of the cornea. Retrieved from