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Local researchers develop cure for keratitis

January 13, 2021

Local researchers have developed a gene-editing technology to cure keratitis — inflammation of the cornea — and eliminate the virus following successful experiments on mice.
Herpes simplex virus, or HSV, is the most prevalent pathogen, and humans are its only host in the natural world. About 97 percent of the population carries the virus, which can hide inside the nervous system. There is no vaccine or medications that cure it.
HSV is divided into HSV-1 and HSV-2. Herpetic stromal keratitis is caused by HSV type 1, which can lead to numerous diseases. Once infecting the cornea, people can contract herpetic stromal keratitis, the most prevalent infectious keratitis, which blinds 85 percent of carriers. It accounts for half of the blindness in China, according to Dr Hong Jiaxu of the Shanghai Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, a leading expert in the research.