The effects of passive immunization with specific monoclonal antibodies against herpes simplex virus glycoproteins gB, gC, gD, and gE on the course of herpetic keratitis, survival and the establishment of latency in an outbred mouse model are described. A total of nine monoclonal antibodies were tested in these experiments. Passive immunization at 24 or 48 hours post-inoculation had little effect on the severity of the initial epithelial infection of the cornea, but blocked dissemination of the virus to the central nervous system and periocular tissues and prevented development of blepharitis, iritis and stromal keratitis. Additional studies are needed to characterize these monoclonal antibodies in greater detail, and to define the mechanism of these protective effects. © 1987 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.