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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