Treatment may include antiviral medications such as acyclovir or valacyclovir. It will still be a long time before these experiments lead to the first human trials of gene therapy to cure herpes. Jerome estimates that there are at least three years to go. There is no cure for genital herpes.
However, daily use of antiviral medications can prevent or shorten outbreaks. Antiviral medicines can also reduce your chance of infecting it to others. HSV causes herpes and can affect the mouth or genitals. There is currently no cure for the virus, but there are treatments that can reduce the symptoms and infectiousness of the disease.
It doesn't seem to involve the enzymes that cut the genes used in Hutch herpes studies, in which those molecular scissors work as expected. According to the World Health Organization, two-thirds of the world's population under 50 are carriers of the herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1, which mainly causes cold sores, while 491 million people between the ages of 15 and 49 are infected with the closely related HSV-2, which is the cause of sexually transmitted genital herpes. Keith Jerome began to explore the idea that lifelong herpes virus infections could be cured by using gene therapy tools to cut DNA. Research on the herpes mRNA vaccine began long before COVID-19 mRNA vaccines were developed, says Harvey M.
Both HSV-2 and HSV-1 are transmitted through contact with a herpetic lesion, mucosal surface, or genital or oral secretions from an infected person. Some home remedies, such as petroleum gel or essential oils, may ease the discomfort caused by herpes lesions, but they won't help reduce viral load. In Hutch's herpes experiments, AAVs concentrate on groups of nerves that harbor the inactive or latent herpesvirus, and then the scissors get to work, attacking and cutting certain segments of the viral genes. Everyone would like research to move forward as quickly as possible, but it can't match the speed of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 because herpes isn't as pervasive as the coronavirus.
Five years ago, the team reported that they had damaged the genes of 2% to 4% of the herpes virus in infected mice. Other manifestations of HSV-1 infection are the whitish herpetic ulcer, the gladiatory herpes seen in wrestlers, perpetic eczema in patients with atopic dermatitis, and erythema multiforme. So far, Jerome Lab's herpes research only includes HSV-1, but scientists are now working to expand its success to HSV-2.The team solved that problem with a drug that stimulates the recurrence of herpes simplex type 1, or HSV-1, in mice. From the early days of the experiments, Jerome's team learned to use a cutting enzyme called “meganuclease” that can concentrate on a segment of herpes DNA and cut both chains of the double helix.
Pregnant women with symptoms of genital herpes should see a doctor, as there is a risk of neonatal herpes. Potential participants most interested in a herpes vaccine may already be infected, but the vaccine is not yet being studied for treatment.