RICHARD AMBINDER, M.D.; WILLIAM BURNS, M.D.; PAUL LIETMAN, M.D., PH.D.; REIN SARAL, M.D.
To the editor: Dr. Vartian is concerned that prophylactic acyclovir therapy in immunocompromised patients may lead to the emergence of acyclovir-resistant herpes simplex (1, 2). We believe that his concern is misplaced.
With bacterial infection, one may argue, prophylaxis fosters the emergence of resistance, but the situation is different with viral infections, when the virus involved has a life cycle that includes a latent state. We argue that in addition to being effective, prophylactic therapy minimizes the likelihood of the emergence of acyclovir resistance and that antiviral resistance will occur predominantly among patients being treated for active disease. Our reasoning
AMBINDER R, BURNS W, LIETMAN P, SARAL R. Prophylactic Acyclovir Therapy and Herpes Simplex. Ann Intern Med. ;100:920–921. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-100-6-920_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1984;100(6):920-921.
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