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Injections might help prevent genital herpes transmission for months: study

Submitted by: Odio @ 04:29 AM | Thursday, November 3, 2016 | (url: http://medicalxpr...)

(HealthDay)Three injections of a therapeutic vaccine may control genital herpes as effectively as daily pills for at least a year, a new study suggests.
Researchers tested the experimental vaccine in 310 people with herpes from 17 centers around the United States. The three shots, administered three weeks apart, appeared to reduce patients' genital lesions and the process of "viral shedding" in which they can spread the disease through sexual contact.
Infectious disease experts hailed the vaccine as a promising development in the treatment of genital herpes. The incurable disease affects about one in every six people ages 14 to 49 in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"In general terms, people receiving [the vaccine] have greater than 50 percent fewer days in which virus is present in their genital tracts, which in theory may reduce transmission," said study author Jessica Baker Flechtner. She's chief scientific officer at Genocea Biosciences, the Cambridge, Mass., manufacturer of the vaccine.
"However, this would need to be proven in a well-powered clinical trial," she added. "Our trials have included both men and women, and to date, we have not seen a difference in the vaccine impact between genders."
Currently named GEN-003, the vaccine is believed to work by prompting a type of white blood cell known as a T-cell to recognize and kill cells in which the virus lives, Flechtner explained.
Patients were randomly split into seven dosing groups, including a placebo group.
Testing was repeated periodically for 12 months after dosing and included analyzing genital swab samples for the presence of the herpes virus. The days when genital lesions were present were also recorded.

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Australia to spend over $11mn to eradicate carps by releasing herpes virus into river

Submitted by: Odio @ 10:14 AM | Monday, May 2, 2016 | (url: https://www.rt.co...)

As much as 15 million Australian dollars will be spent on funding the clearing of the Murray-Darling Basin from the countrys worst freshwater feral pest. This will be included into Tuesdays federal budget, Australian authorities said on Sunday.

Interestingly enough, the war on fish is to be waged by an unusual means the water will be contaminated with a special type of herpes, known as koi herpes.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation scientists have been carrying out various tests for nearly a decade on other animals including chickens, mice, frogs, turtles and water dragons to determine the safety and suitability of the virus in dealing with an excessive carp population.

The virus was proven to be harmless to humans and animals, but it causes kidney failure in carps, attacks their skin and kills the fish after sitting tight in its system for about seven days.

It causes high death rates in common carp and in the ornamental koi carp. No other species of fish, including goldfish, are known to be affected by the virus, CSIRO official website says.

It affects the European carp by attacking their kidneys, their skin, their gills and stopping them breathing effectively, Australian Science Minister Christopher Pyne said, according to ABC news.

They have the virus for a week before they show any symptoms and it suddenly kills them within 24 hours, he added.

Its been calculated that the carp-control program planned to be launched in 2018 will kill 95 percent of the targeted fish over the next 30 years.

The project cant be brought to life right away since it is still to be determined how to deal with dead bodies most effectively. A significant part of the budgeting is to be spent specifically on a clean-up program.

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There's hope for Ender yet!

Submitted by: Odio @ 08:21 PM | Monday, March 14, 2016 | (url: http://medicalxpr...)

Today, there is only one class of antiviral medicines against herpesvirusesa family of viruses that cause mononucleosis, herpes, and shingles, among other illnesses - meaning options for treating these infections are limited. If viruses become resistant to these frontline treatments, a growing problem particularly in clinical settings, there are no alternative drugs to serve as backup.
In a search for new drugs to treat viral infections, scientists from the University of Utah School of Medicine found that a medicine routinely used to treat heart failure, spironolactone, has an unexpected ability to block infection by Epstein Barr virus (EBV), a herpesvirus that causes mono and is associated with several human cancers. They find that the drug's antiviral properties stem from its ability to block a key step in viral infection that is common to all herpesviruses. Spironolactone's target is distinct from that of existing drugs, revealing that it could be developed into a new class of anti-herpesvirus drug.
"It's remarkable that a drug we have used safely in the clinic for over 50 years is also an effective EBV inhibitor," says senior author Sankar Swaminathan, M.D., chief of infections disease at University of Utah Health Care and professor of internal medicine. "It goes to show how basic research can reveal things we would never have found otherwise." In collaboration with research assistant professor of internal medicine Dinesh Virma, Ph.D., and Jacob Thompson, he published the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Herpes drug might help control spread of HIV, too

Submitted by: Mr Jimmy Pop @ 06:04 PM | Monday, July 20, 2015 | (url: http://www.hawaii...)

(HealthDay News) -- A widely used herpes drug also seems to help people with the HIV virus, even if those people don't also have herpes, a new small study found.

The researchers said their findings challenge the belief that drug Valtrex (valacyclovir) requires the presence of herpes to benefit people with HIV-1. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

The study included 18 HIV patients in Peru. When patients took Valtrex twice daily for two weeks, they had decreases in HIV-1 levels. Patients taking a placebo saw their HIV levels go up.

Experts thought that Valtrex worked against HIV by reducing inflammation caused by the herpes virus. This would give the HIV virus fewer active immune cells to attack, reducing the spread of the virus. But the drug doesn't depend on reducing inflammation to work against HIV, said study co-senior author Dr. Michael Lederman, a professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

This means that Valtrex can be used in a broader range of people with HIV-1, and also suggests promising new directions for creating new HIV drugs, the researchers said.

That's especially important because some forms of HIV-1 have become resistant to existing drugs.

"The drug might be an agent that can be used safely in some people with HIV infection who have a form of HIV that is highly resistant to other antiretroviral drugs," Lederman said in a university news release.

"Valacyclovir might well augment the cocktail of medications they take for reducing HIV replication. Valacyclovir is a well-tolerated drug, and it doesn't have a lot of side effects," he added.

The findings were published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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