A practical UV source to induce Herpes simplex labialis lesions in the clinic

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Ultraviolet (UV) sources have been used to clinically induce herpes simplex lesions in the lips of susceptible individuals.


This study reports the optimization of a UV source for studies involving multiple clinical laboratory sites and subsequent clinical UV induction of cold sore lesions. We describe novel adaptations of a commercially available broadband UV phototherapy lamp that facilitate determination of individual's minimal erythemal dose (MED) and expose the lips with minimal risk of viral transmission to or between the volunteers and technicians.

Clinical Results

The source performed well in a clinical setting, with 171 of 386 subjects (44%) developing lesions, an induction rate similar to spectrally similar UV sources.


The advantages of consistent and reproducible exposure geometry, additional UV shielding and biological hygiene achieved by our method significantly enhance the execution of UV-induced herpes simplex labialis studies.

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