New Herpes Cure in 2017

In the world, it is approximated that 500 million people are infected with the genital herpes virus known as the herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2). There a desperate need to get a vaccine that could bring to end this global epidemic yet there is no candidate vaccine that has ever done well in the clinical trials. Click here to read more about the cure for herpes .

But recently, scientists in the Perelman School of Medicine have shown that there is a new type of vaccine that provides powerful protection in standard guinea pig and monkey models of herpes simplex virus two infections. This new trivalent vaccine induces antibodies against three varying parts of the virus, including two components that normally assist the HSV2 in evading the immune attack.

HSV2 brings about a huge health burden. In the USA alone, research on herpes cure estimates that approximately one in six people aged 15 to 49 are infected with the HSV2 virus. In Africa, more than half of the adult population is thought to be infected. In addition to being a huge health burden to the adults, it also can cause devastating and lethal infections to infants who are born to infected mothers. HSV2 infections also by large increases the likelihood of HIV transmission and thus it accounts for the HIV public health burden too.

Trial HSV2 vaccines developed in the recent years largely target the Gd2, a glycoprotein mounted on the virus's outer layer and assist it in breaking into the host cells. However, these types of vaccines have not shown robust protections in both human and animal trials.

The new team of scientists at the medical Perelman School of Medicine has designed a new vaccine that induces an immune response against not only gD2 but also the other two viral glycoproteins, Gc2, and gE2. The gE2 blocks the elements of immune response, and thus assists the HSV2 to survive for long in the host.

When the trivalent vaccine is administered three times at monthly intervals, it induced a strong immune response in the macaque monkeys, whose immune system closely resembles that of the humans. The vaccine included antibodies against gC2, gD2, and gE2 present in both blood and vaginal secretions. The antibodies neutralized the HSV's ability to spread from cell to cell. The vaccine also induced a great rise in the CD4 T-Cells whose main task is to mobilize the antibodies response and other immune elements against the viral infections.

According to the study's lead author, Sita Awasthi, Ph.D., who is a research associate professor of infectious Diseases at Penn, if the trivalent vaccine is found effective in clinical trials, it could have a huge impact on reducing the overall prevalence of genital herpes infections and could reduce new HIV infections.