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Edinburgh University Discovery

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New method of targeting herpes virus could lead to cure/treatment breakthrough.

Back in 2006, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania worked out part of the reason herpes sores have a nasty habit of coming back time and time again. Professor Nigel Fraser and his team discovered as long ago as 1984 that herpes was different than most other infections when they discovered a latency-associated transcript gene (LAT) in the HSV-1 herpes virus.

In simple terms, this means that although drugs like acyclovir can treat the symptoms of herpes, they can’t get to the nub of the problem because the LAT gene won’t allow the cell causing the problem to die.

That discovery, nearly thirty years ago, led the team to hypothesize that the LAT gene produced a molecule known as Micro RNA (MiRNA) whose effect was to prevent anything from reaching and killing the infected cells.

So Fraser and his colleagues concluded in 2006 that finding a MiRNA that interacts with the cellular pathway during latency could offer the first treatment against latency itself and thus a profoundly different method of treatment.

Fast forward four years to research by a team at the Edinburgh University (UK) who have found a way to manipulate MiRNA levels enabling them to control a network of proteins and prevent viruses from growing. Research centered around herpes viruses as well as the Semliki Forest virus, mainly spread by mosquito bites. The viruses behave in different ways, with the herpes family of viruses multiplying inside nuclei of cells and the Semliki Forest virus multiplying outside.

But by making the site of infection in either case less hospitable to viruses, the viruses become less able to mutate and make drug treatment more effective. Tackling the viruses in this manner also meant that the team was able to tackle more than one virus simultaneously.

Dr Amy Buck of Edinburgh University’s Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution explained: “New viral strains emerge frequently and many infections are difficult to diagnose and treat. It is important to find new ways of targeting infection. Our hope is that we will be able to use host-directed therapies to supplement the natural immune response and disable viruses by taking away what they need to survive.”


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Cure Coming Soon


Thanks for posting this. I haven't heard of the research until now.

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Can´t read anything on the link. The discover this 2006? If you talked with the DR is i possible to do that again? Mayby some news and closer to an cure?

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Try a Lysine supplement for cold sores

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    • bufshof
      In in the Denver area if anyone is wanting to connect.
    • 35hope
      what does editas have to do with your experiment?
    • viralfrog
      Having HSV-2 has not bothered me at all for casual sex. I'm just avoiding sex during outbreaks, on suppressive therapy and using condoms every time with casual partners. Since my outbreaks appear on top of my penis, even during an outbreak the risk is minimal if I put a condom on as soon as I take my underwear off.  I guess it might be a slightly different case for a girl as if you have external lesions around your groin you could still infect someone even using a condom. And of course, condoms can break, which has happened to me over 10 times and caused myself to get infected in the first place.  I see it as a much more difficult now having a serious relationship, because I can't feel much with a condom on and really want stop using them. However, I don't want to put my new girlfriend to any risk - I would feel terrible if I infected her. 
    • viralfrog
      Does anyone have experience about people's reactions to Herpes in Asia? Personally I live in Thailand where I also caught the virus as a condom broke 4 years ago.  Unfortunately I infected my ex-girlfriend with HSV-2. This was just after I had caught the virus myself and we had sex before I noticed and realised what it was. In the beginning, a local doctor told me I have just hurt my foreskin with my jeans' zipper and the tests came as negative. After getting tested later it came as positive.  Anyways, my ex-gf (well educated, professional, 26 years old then) she had no idea what Herpes was in the first place. She didn't really care too much about it and didn't bother to get tested. During our 3 year relationship we kept having unprotected sex as usual and she never had any issues until at the end one day. She had a very minor outbreak once and nothing after that (lucky her, no like myself who gets terrible symptoms non-stop). I know she has a strong immune system, because she was never sick despite myself having bad colds quite often. In any case, she could not care less about this virus and didn't mind at all.

      I've seen a lot of hysteria surrounding Herpes in Europe and the US. What has been your experience in South-East Asian countries like Thailand? Do people perceive HSV-2 as a worrying disease? 
    • Burty
      The full article is behind a paywall but you could write the the authors and request a copy.

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