Research points to role for herpes vaccine

Debate continues over whether a herpes vaccine could in fact protect humans against bacterial diseases.

Research conducted by Dr Marcia Blackman and her research team at the Trudeau Institute, US, has validated the findings of an earlier report from Dr Herbert Virgin et al which suggested that certain forms of herpesvirus are resistant to infection with bacterial pathogens.

However, the new study has slightly refined the findings of the original May 2007 report, which initially raised hope that the virus may have certain positive as well as negative consequences.

Dr Blackman explains: "We discovered that the effect of herpesvirus infection is transient, lasting only a few months. Interestingly, although the effect was shown by the Virgin group to be dependent on establishing a latent infection, it wanes despite lifelong latency."

Following discussion between the two groups, it was agreed that the possible protective effects of herpesvirus infections merit further study.

Herpes viruses have the potential to cause a number of illnesses in humans including cold sores, chickenpox, shingles, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and various cancers.

Pregnant women with HSV-2 genital herpes diagnosis can in some cases pass a fatal infection to their infant - meaning a caesarean section is advisable to reduce exposure to the virus.ADNFCR-2094-ID-19032943-ADNFCR