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L S Feiler, G Smolin, M Okumoto, D Condon; Herpetic keratitis in zinc-deficient rabbits.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1982;22(6):788-795. doi: https://doi.org/.
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In a study of 57 rabbits, we found that zinc played a vital role in the growth of the rabbit and in its immunocompetence. Both humoral and cellular immunity were depressed in the zinc-deficient rabbit. Not only did zinc-deficient animals fail to gain weight, differing in that respect from rabbits on a regular diet, but they also had a high death rate, in contrast with no deaths among normal rabbits. Herpes simplex virus keratitis, both epithelial and stromal, was more severe in the zinc-deficient rabbit but was not improved by local zinc replacement (zinc sulphate ointment, 0.05%); Zinc sulphate ointment (1%), which is four times stronger than commercially available zinc ophthalmic preparations, was severely toxic for the rabbit cornea.
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