DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dendritic ulcer on a 57-year-old woman's eye. The ulcer is made visible by the use of a fluorescent dye (green). It is an infection of the surface of the cornea by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Between attacks, the virus lies dormant in nerve tissue. The ulcer causes irritation (keratitis) of the cornea. If the infection is left untreated, it can cause corneal thickening and opacification. As the frontal outer layer of the eyeball, the cornea should be transparent. The ulcer is treated with an antiviral drug such as acyclovir. The dye used is yellow (seen at the corner of the eye) and it is fluorescing green at the site of the ulcer.
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