Analysis of the herpes simplex virus type 1 UL6 gene in patients with stromal keratitis

Aaron R. Ellison, Li Yang, A. Vicky Cevallos, Todd P. Margolis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Recent work suggests that herpes simplex virus (HSV) stromal keratitis in the mouse is caused by autoreactive T lymphocytes triggered by a 16 amino acid region of the HSV UL6 protein (aa299-314) (Z.-S. Zhao, F. Granucci, L. Yeh, P. Schaffer, H. Cantor, 1998, Science 279, 1344-1347). In the present study we sought to determine whether genetic variation of this presumed autoreactive UL6 epitope is responsible for different pathogenic patterns of human HSV keratitis. To accomplish this, we sequenced the HSV UL6 gene from ocular isolates of 10 patients with necrotizing stromal keratitis, 7 patients with recurrent epithelial keratitis, and 8 patients with other forms of HSV keratitis. The sequences obtained predicted identical UL6(299-314) epitopes for all 25 viral isolates. Furthermore, the upstream sequence of all isolates was free of insertions, deletions, and stop codons. We conclude that different pathogenic patterns of human HSV keratitis occur independent of genetic variation of the HSV UL6 (299-314) epitope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-28
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 25 2003


  • Autoimmune response/disease
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Immunopathology
  • Keratitis
  • Molecular mimicry
  • UL6
  • Virus infection


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