A new way to prevent herpes infection

English: Micrograph showing the changes of her...

English: Micrograph showing the changes of herpes simplex virus (HSV). Pap test. Pap stain. The changes seen above may also been seen with the varicella zoster virus (VZV). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allison Shike (3PM Micro) found this article via Science Daily that looks a little bit more closely at the cell biology of viral entry into human cells. This in turn can lead researchers to potentially develop new ways for combating these infections. Here is Allison’s summary:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University researchers discovered a way to prevent infections from the common herpes viruses. Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is spread by direct contact between an infected person and another non-infected person. Genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex two and cold sores are caused by herpes simplex one. Nearly 60% of U.S. men and women between ages 14-49 carry the HSV-1 virus and 1 in 6 carry the HSV-2 virus. They identified the key to help penetrate into the cell membrane and infect the cells of the body.

According to a 2010 national health survey. Herpes simplex two virus is a recurrent infection. Some patients will have no symptoms others may obtain sores around the infected area, the sores become blisters which are itchy and sore before they heal, states medline plus. It causes painful genital sores and makes patients more likely to acquire HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. There is no effective vaccine for herpes patients. Medicines can be prescribed in order to lessen the amount of outbreaks and the chances of spreading.

Infection by the virus depends on the calcium within the cells. Calcium is released because the virus activates a cell-signaling molecule AKT at the cell’s membrane, previously known to Dr. Herold and her colleagues. Researched took cultures of human cells types and mixed the cells with four different drugs that inhibit AKT. As a control some cells were not pretreated with the inhibitors. The drugs were exposed to the herpes two simplex for one hour. The cells that were not pretreated had already shown penetration into the cells. The cells treated with the AKT inhibitors all showed results of inhibition of the herpes virus.

Many patients infected with herpes are prescribed acyclovir to help prevent outbreaks and lower the chances of infecting others, however, not all herpes infections respond to the use of the drug. The experiment shows that a more strategies should be used to inhibit AKT to prevent herpes.


About ycpmicro

My name is David Singleton, and I am an Associate Professor of Microbiology at York College of Pennsylvania. My main course is BIO230, a course taken by allied-health students at YCP. Views on this site are my own.

Posted on May 2, 2013, in Guest Post, The more you know. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on A new way to prevent herpes infection.

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