Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study discovers RX approach that reduces herpes virus infection


A multi-institutional study reports an effective treatment approach to inhibit and keep latent viruses like herpes simplex from reactivating and causing disease. The work, whose lead author is the late James Hill, PhD, LSU Health New Orleans Professor and Director of Pharmacology and Infectious Disease at the LSU Eye Center, is published in the December 3, 2014, issue of Science Translational Medicine.

The research team, led by Thomas M. Kristie, PhD, Chief of the Molecular Genetics Section in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Laboratory of Viral Diseases, and also included Timothy Foster, PhD, LSU Health New Orleans Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Parasitology, studied herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in several animal models.

They found that an existing drug, tranylcypromine (TCP), blocked a protein called LSD1, which plays a major role in the initiation of herpes simplex virus infection. Current treatments require active viral replication and target late stages of infection, which has led to the development of drug resistance. This study took a different approach - targeting a drug to a protein that controls how genes are turned on and off, early in the viral replication process.

This "epigenetic" approach not only reduced symptoms, but unlike existing treatments, also reduced shedding (the release of virus particles which can transmit the virus even in the absence of symptoms) and forced the virus to remain in a latent stage, preventing its reactivation. Results indicate that even when a virus is not active, drugs modulating epigenetic changes can still treat the infection. Researchers have been pursuing epigenetic-based therapies for cancer, and this study demonstrates its potential as effective antiviral therapy, too.

A high percentage of the human population is infected with the herpes simplex virus and carries the virus in a latent state. After the initial infection, HSV typically goes dormant in cells where it remains. It can then reactivate with a recurrence of symptoms. Even when latent, asymptomatic shedding of the virus continues its transmission.

Neonatal HSV infections can result in death or developmental-neurological issues. HSV eye infections and recurrences are the leading viral cause of infectious blindness or the need for corneal transplants. In addition, along with other herpesviruses, HSV is a complicating factor in immunosuppressed individuals and is a cofactor in HIV transmission.

Although he died before the study was published, LSU Health New Orleans professor Dr. James M. Hill participated in the research. "Dr. Hill was a distinguished and respected herpesvirologist/animal model scientist who passed away approximately a year ago," notes Dr. Foster. "He is lead author on this manuscript due to both his contributions to the work and out of honor and respect for his contributions to the field and all of us involved."

In addition to researchers from the National Institutes of Health and LSU Health New Orleans, scientists from the Food and Drug Administration, Harvard Medical School, Cincinnati Children's

Hospital Medical Center and the University of Alabama Birmingham also participated. The research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Allergy and

Infectious Diseases, National Eye Institute, Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Investigator Award, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, the Louisiana Lions Eye Foundation and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Intramural Funding.

LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's health university leader, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region.

In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit , , or .

Leslie Capo | EurekAlert!

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>