This report evaluates a dietary manipulation approach to suppress the severity of ocular infections caused by herpes simplex virus infection. The virus causes chronic damage to the cornea that results from a T-cell-orchestrated inflammatory reaction to the infection. Lesion severity can be limited if cells with regulatory activity predominate over proinflammatory T cells and nonlymphoid inflammatory cells. In this report, we show that this outcome can be achieved by including the short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) salt sodium propionate (SP) in the drinking water. Animals given the SP supplement developed significantly fewer ocular lesions than those receiving no supplement. Corneas and lymphoid organs contained fewer CD4 Th1 and Th17 T cells, neutrophils, and macrophages than those of controls, but a higher frequency of regulatory T cells (Treg) was present. The inclusion of SP in cultures to induce CD4 T cell subsets in vitro reduced the magnitude of Th1 and Th17 responses but expanded Treg induction. Dietary manipulation was an effective approach to limit the severity of viral immuno-inflammatory lesions and may be worth exploring as a means to reduce the impact of herpetic lesions in humans.