These Scientific Breakthroughs In Herpes Give Hope

Herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. This virus affects the eternal genitalia, mucosal surfaces, anal region and skin in other parts of the body. There are two types of herpes:

  • HSV-1. This variable of the virus is also knowns as herpes simplex virus type 1, and is responsible for cold sore and in some cases genital herpes.
  • HSV-2. This type of herpes simplex virus is known as type 2. I is the usual cause of genital herpes, although it can sometimes infect the mouth.

Many people carry the virus within their bodies, but they do not experience any symptoms. Basic symptoms that are experienced at an earlier stage of herpes include cold sores around the mouth, ulcers, vaginal discharge, pain when urinating, red blisters on the skin, high temperature(fever), malaise (feeling unwell), pain and itching.

The main cause of herpes is the herpes simplex virus – HSV that is present on the skin’s surface of an infected person which can be easily passed on to someone else through skin-to-skin contact and via mouth, anus, and genitals.

Earlier it was said that herpes is an incurable disease and can be only treated up to a limited extent by using home remedies, by taking in painkillers and through several medications. Scientists have been trying to find and develop a permanent cure for herpes for a long time. In the previous year, there has been a significant breakthrough in herpes. A vaccine has been developed, and it looks quite promising for the patients who are suffering from herpes.

About the Vaccine

A biopharmaceutical company Genocea Biosciences has been working on the experimental herpes vaccine, and it has been reported that a combination of three injections of a drug called GEN-003 has shown great results in the clinical trials by reducing the virus that causes herpes. This vaccine manages the virus by targeting the T-cells in the immune system of the human body.

Other companies are working on developing a herpes vaccine. Rational Vaccines (RVx) is a biotechnology startup that was just founded a few years ago to develop a vaccine to prevent herpes. They are developing a new class of vaccines called Profavax and Theravax though these are under experimenting phase and are not yet approved by FDA.

Further Developments

Scientists in the Perelman School Of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have experimented with a new vaccine which provides powerful protection. The new “TRIVALENT” vaccine includes antibodies against three different parts of the virus including two components that help HSV TYPE 2 evade the immune attack. Research has shown that the antibodies included in the trivalent vaccine potently neutralized four isolates of HSV 2 where infection prevalence is very high. The researchers are negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to optimize clinical trials for the vaccine.

After adopting a new approach, scientists were able to come up with a vaccine that can fight the virus. In the new approach, scientists stimulate the production of neutralizing antibodies against a special viral surface protein (GLYCOPROTEIN-2) the herpes virus 2 uses to invade cells. This test also suggests virus protection against HSV TYPE 1, but further testing is required to approve if this new approach of GLYCOPROTEIN-2 works for herpes virus 1.