Keratitis due to Herpes simplex virus (HSK), Varicella-Zoster virus (VZK) and Cytomegalovirus remains a frequent source of concern for many ophthalmologists. They are a frequent cause of emergency consultations at eye care centers and carry the risk of permanent loss of visual acuity or visual quality and/or chronic neurotrophic keratitis, resulting in a significant decrease in the quality of life. HSK and VZK can affect the corneal epithelium, stroma, or endothelium or a combination of layers. In contrast, most cases of CMV keratitis present as isolated endothelitis (CMVE), a clinical entity that has been described within the last 2 decades. These three types of viral keratitis are characterized by a high frequency of recurrences and each new episode increases the risk of sequelae. Hence, ophthalmologists must adapt the treatment to the clinical presentation of each recurrent episode in order to mitigate the immediate consequences of viral replication and the immune response on corneal transparency. In patients with frequent recurrences, preventive long-term antiviral treatment is strongly recommended. However, in some rare cases, continuous exposure to antivirals may promote the emergence of resistant viral strains, which can be difficult to manage. In the future, the introduction of new antiviral drugs, with differing modes of action compared to current medical therapy, could be an alternative until a truly effective preventive solution, such as a vaccine, is available.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.