AndhraNews.net
Home » Technology News » 2012 » January » January 5, 2012

Genital Herpes vaccine comes closer to reality


January 5, 2012 - Washington

Scientists have come up with an investigational vaccine that can protect some women against infection from one of the two types of herpes simplex viruses that cause genital herpes.

The study led by Robert Belshe, M.D., showed that vaccine was partially effective at preventing herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), but did not protect women from herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).

There were less than half of the cases of genital herpes caused by HSV-1 -- 58 percent fewer in women who received the investigational vaccine compared to women who received the control vaccine.

"There is some very good news in our findings. We were partially successful against half of the equation-protecting women from genital disease caused by HSV-1," said Robert Belshe, M.D., director of the Saint Louis University Center for Vaccine Development and lead author of the study.

"It's a big step along the path to creating an effective vaccine that protects against genital disease caused by herpes infection. It points us in the direction to work toward making a vaccine that works on both herpes simplex viruses."

Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are members of the herpesvirus family. Typically, HSV-2 causes lesions and blisters in the genital area. HSV-1 generally causes sores in the mouth and lips, although it increasingly has been found to cause genital disease.

There currently is no cure or approved vaccine to prevent genital herpes infection, which affects about 25 percent of women in the United States and is one of the most common communicable diseases.

Once inside the body, HSV remains there permanently. The virus can cause severe neurological disease and even death in infants born to women who are infected with HSV and the virus is a risk factor for sexual transmission of HIV.

The study enrolled 8,323 women between ages 18 and 30 who did not have HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection at the start of the study.

They were randomly assigned to receive either three doses of the investigational HSV vaccine that was developed by GSK or a hepatitis A vaccine, which was the control.

Participants were followed for 20 months and evaluated carefully for occurrence of genital herpes disease. In addition, all study participants were given blood tests to determine if asymptomatic infection with HSV-1 or HSV-2 occurred during the trial.

Researchers found that two or three doses of the investigational vaccine offered significant protection against genital herpes disease caused by HSV-1. However the vaccine did not protect women from genital disease caused by HSV-2.

The study has been published in New England Journal of Medicine.

ANI

Comment on this story

Share