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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 149135, 22 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/149135
Review Article

Mucosal Herpes Immunity and Immunopathology to Ocular and Genital Herpes Simplex Virus Infections

1Pathology and Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Department of Immunology, King Fahad Medical City, P.O. Box 59046, Riyadh 11525, Saudi Arabia
2Faculty of Medicine, King Fahad Medical City and King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh 11426, Saudi Arabia
3Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
4Institute for Immunology, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA

Received 2 September 2012; Revised 19 November 2012; Accepted 20 November 2012

Academic Editor: Mario Clerici

Copyright © 2012 Aziz Alami Chentoufi and Lbachir BenMohamed. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Herpes simplex viruses type 1 and type 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) are amongst the most common human infectious viral pathogens capable of causing serious clinical diseases at every stage of life, from fatal disseminated disease in newborns to cold sores genital ulcerations and blinding eye disease. Primary mucocutaneous infection with HSV-1 & HSV-2 is followed by a lifelong viral latency in the sensory ganglia. In the majority of cases, herpes infections are clinically asymptomatic. However, in symptomatic individuals, the latent HSV can spontaneously and frequently reactivate, reinfecting the muco-cutaneous surfaces and causing painful recurrent diseases. The innate and adaptive mucosal immunities to herpes infections and disease remain to be fully characterized. The understanding of innate and adaptive immune mechanisms operating at muco-cutaneous surfaces is fundamental to the design of next-generation herpes vaccines. In this paper, the phenotypic and functional properties of innate and adaptive mucosal immune cells, their role in antiherpes immunity, and immunopathology are reviewed. The progress and limitations in developing a safe and efficient mucosal herpes vaccine are discussed.