, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 63–68 | Cite as

Transfer factor prevents relapses in herpes keratitis patients: A pilot study

  • Giancarlo Pizza
  • Renato Meduuri
  • Caterina De Vinci
  • Lucia Scorolli
  • Dimitri Viza


Transfer Factor is a dialysable moiety obtained from immune lymphocytes. It has been successfully used for the treatment of several viral infections including labial and genital herpes. In the present study, thirty-three patients with low immune response to HSV antigens and suffering from herpes ocular infections were orally treated with HSV-specific transfer factor (TF). Their relapse index was reduced from 20.1 before treatment to 0.51 after TF administration, with only 6/33 patients relapsing. Although this is not a placebo-controlled-randomized study, the results suggest that TF specific for HSV antigens may be efficacious for preventing relapses of ocular herpes infections as has been the case with genital and labial localisations.

Key words

Cell-mediated immunity herpes keratitis uveitis transfer factor 



Cell-mediated immunity




Epstein-Barr virus


Human immunodeficiency virus


Herpes keratitis


Herpes simplex virus


Individual relapse index




Leucocyte migration test


Lymphocyte stimulation test


Migration inhibition factor


Relapsing herpes keratitis


Transfer factor


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abramson A, Khan A, Tate GW, Jr, Martin RG, Hill NO. Immunocompetence and transfer factor therapy in uveitis. Br J Ophth 1980; 64: 332–38.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ashorn RGI, Räsänen L, Marnela K-M, Krohn KJE. Human transfer factor in vitro. Clin Exp Immunol 1979; 37: 50–57.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Berger R, Luescher D, Shore S. Booster-immunizations with live varicella-zoster vaccine (OKA-SK-RIT) in healthy 50–60 years old adults. In: Kaplan AS, La Placa M, Rapp F, Roizman B, eds. International workshop on herpesviruses. Bologna: Esculapio, 1981: 195.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Centifanto YP, Zam ZS, McNeil JL, Kaufman HE. Leukocytes migration inhibitory factor in HSV infections. Invest Ophtalm Vis Sci 1978; 17: 863–68.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Denis J, Hoang-Xuan T, Bonissent JF, Dogbe K, Clay C, Viza D, Rosenfeld F, Phillips J, Vich JM. Experimental and clinical preliminary study of immunomodulators in the treatment of ocular herpes. In: Maudgal PC, Missotten L, eds. Herpetic eye diseases. Dordrecht: Dr W Junk Publishers, 1985: 111–18.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    For a recent review on tranfer factor see: Fudenberg HH, Pizza G. Transfer Factor 1993: New Frontiers. In: Ernest Tucker, Progress in Drug Research. Basel: Burkhäuser 1994; 42: 309–400.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lawrence HS: The transfer in humans of delayed skin sensitivity to streptococci M substance and to tuberculin with disrupted leukocytes. J Clin Inv 1955; 34: 219.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Neequaye J, Viza D, Pizza G, Levine PH, De Vinci C, Ablashi DV, Biggar RJ, Nkrumah FK. Specific transfer factor with activity against Epstein-Barr virus reduces late relapse in endemic Burkitt's lymphoma. Anticanc R 1990; 10: 1183–87.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Nkrumah F, Pizza G, Viza D, Phillips J, De Vinci C, Levine P. Regression of progressive lymphadenopathy in a young child with acute cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection following the administration of transfer factor with specific anti-CMV activity. Lymphok Res 1985; 4: 237–41.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pass R, Dwoorsky ME, August AM. Specific lymphocytes transformation responses with acquired Cytomegalovirus and Herpes simplex virus infection of early infancy. In: Kaplan AS, La Placa M, Rapp F, Roizman B, eds. International workshop on herpesviruses. Bologna: Esculapio, 1981: 193.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pizza G, Severini G, Menniti D, De Vinci C, Corrado F: Tumour regression after intralesional injection of Interleukin-2 (IL2) in bladder cancer. Preliminary Report. Int J Cancer, 1984: 34: 359–367.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Plotkin SA. Vaccination against human Cytomegalovirus and Varicella-Zoster virus. In: Kaplan AS, La Placa M, Rapp F, Roizman B, eds. International workshop on herpesviruses. Bologna: Esculapio, 1981: 189.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Roda E, Viza D, Pizza G, Mastroroberto L, Phillips J, De Vinci C, Barbara L. Transfer factor for the treatment of H Bs Agpositive chronic active hepatitis. P Soc Exp Med 1985; 178: 468–75.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rosenfeld F, Viza D, Phillips J, Vich JM, Binet O, AronBrunetière R. Traitement des infections herpétiques par le facteur de transfert. Presse Méd 1984; 13: 537–40.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Søberg M, Bendixen G. Human lymphocyte migration as a parameter of hypersensitivity. Acta Med Scand 1967; 181: 247–53.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Steele R. W., Myers M. G., and Vincent M. M.: Transfer factor for the prevention of varicella zoster infection in childhood leukemia. New Engl. J. Med., 1980; 303: 355–359.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Viza D, Boucheix Cl, Césarini JP, Ablashi DV, Armstrong G, Levine P, Pizza G. Characterization of a human lymphoblastoid cell line, LDV/7, used to replicate transfer factor and immune RNA. Bio Cell 1982; 46: 1–10.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Viza D, Goust JM, Moulias R, Trejdosiewicz LK, Collard A, Müller-Bérat N. ‘In vitro’ production of transfer factor by lymphoblastoid cell lines. Transplan P 1975; VII (suppl. 1): 329–33.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Viza D, Lefesvre A, Patrasco M, Phillips J, Hebbrecht N, Laumond G, Vich JM. A preliminary report on three AIDS patients treated with anti-HIV specific transfer factor. J Exp Path 1987; 3: 653–59.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Viza D, Rosenfeld F, Phillips J, Vich JM, Denis J, Bonissent JF, Dogbe K. Specific bovine transfer factor for the treatment of herpes infections. In: Kirkpatrick CH, Burger DR, Lawrence HS, eds. Immunobiology of transfer factor. New York: Academic Press, 1983: 245–59.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Viza D, Vich JM, Minarro A, Ablashi DV, Sala-huddin SZ. Soluble extracts from a lymphoblastoid cell line modulate SAIDS evolution. J Virol Met 1988; 21: 241–53.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Viza D, Vich JM, Phillips J, Davies DAL. Use of specific transfer factor for the prevention or the treatment of herpes infections in mice and in man. J Exp Path 1987; 3: 407–20.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Viza D, Vich JM, Phillips J, Rosenfeld F. Orally administered specific transfer factor for the treatment of herpes infections. Lymphok Res 1985; 4: 27–30.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Viza D, Vich JM, Phillips J, Rosenfeld F, Davies DAL. Specific transfer factor protects mice against lethal challenge with herpes simplex virus. Cell Immun 1986; 100: 555–62.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wilson GB, Smith CL, Fudenberg HH. Effects of dialyzable leukocyte extracts (DLEs) with transfer factor activity on leukocyte migration in vitro. J Allerg Cl 1979; 64: 55–66.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giancarlo Pizza
    • 1
  • Renato Meduuri
    • 2
  • Caterina De Vinci
    • 1
  • Lucia Scorolli
    • 2
  • Dimitri Viza
    • 3
  1. 1.Immunodiagnosis and Immunotherapy Unit, 1st Division of UrologyS.Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Ophthalmology Clinic, S.Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of BolognaItaly
  3. 3.URA 1294 CNRS, Faculté de MédecineLaboratoire d 'ImmunobiologieParisFrance

Personalised recommendations