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Herpes Vaccine in the Offing

Promising Herpes Vaccine in Development

A recent article revealed that researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine has developed a new vaccine type which shows great potentials of becoming the first to ever prevent genital herpes. The researchers that developed this vaccine decided to take a counter approach which seems to have worked.  Up until now, the assumption has been that an effective HSV-2 vaccine is one that stimulates the body to make neutralizing antibodies through the use of the viral surface protein glycoprotein D (gD-2) as the antigen to stimulate these antibodies. However, these vaccines have not been effective suggesting that the wrong antibodies are being stimulated. 

This new vaccine focuses on deleting the gene for the gD-2 protein from the virus as the virus uses this protein to infect human cells resulting in the disease. By removing the gene from the virus, it is rendered unable to infect the cells and cause the disease. This altered virus which was given the name delta-gD-2 and is assumed to stimulate the body to produce different antibodies – ones that are more effective. Trials have been conducted on mice and have been successful. Human trials are expected to begin in a few years. You can get more information here. on this new article and why researchers believe that they have finally cracked the code.

Background Information on Herpes

So, why are researchers putting so much time and effort into finding a vaccine that prevents herpes? Well, let’s take a look at some herpes background information. It is a very common sexually transmitted disease. Approximately five million people have contracted this disease worldwide. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and people with this virus are more likely to acquire the HIV virus and to transmit it further. This is one of the main reasons why the need to develop a safe and effective herpes vaccine is so great.  Read More...

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