Herpes simplex virus type 1 and normal protein permeability in the lungs of critically ill patients: a case for low pathogenicity? a case for low pathogenicity?

J. Verheij, A.B.J. Groeneveld, A. Beishuizen, A. van Lingen, A.M. Simoons-Smit, RJ Strack van Schijndel, Rob J.M.Strack van Schijndel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: The pathogenicity of late respiratory infections with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in the critically ill is unclear.

METHODS: In four critically ill patients with persistent pulmonary infiltrates of unknown origin and isolation of HSV-1 from tracheal aspirate or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, at 7 (1-11) days after start of mechanical ventilatory support, a pulmonary leak index (PLI) for 67Gallium (67Ga)-transferrin (upper limit of normal 14.1 x 10(-3)/min) was measured.

RESULTS: The PLI ranged between 7.5 and 14.0 x 10(-3)/min in the study patients. Two patients received a course of acyclovir and all survived.

CONCLUSIONS: The normal capillary permeability observed in the lungs argues against pathogenicity of HSV-1 in the critically ill, and favors that isolation of the virus reflects reactivation in the course of serious illness and immunodepresssion, rather than primary or superimposed infection in the lungs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R139-R144
JournalCritical Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology
  • Capillary Permeability
  • Critical Illness
  • Female
  • Gallium Radioisotopes/pharmacokinetics
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human/isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds/pharmacokinetics
  • Pneumonia, Viral/blood
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood
  • Transferrin/pharmacokinetics
  • Virulence
  • Virus Activation

Cite this