Herpes cold sores are as despised as they are common. The ailment is one of the most prevalent skin diseases in Germany.
According to the latest research at Hohenstein's Institute for Hygiene and Biotechnology (IHB), it seems likely that contaminated textiles may be another pathway for the spread of herpes pathogens in addition to the well-known means, including contact with saliva and by touching surfaces after scratching open herpes sores around the mouth.
With the help of molecular biological analysis, scientists at the Hohenstein Institute have successfully demonstrated that the herpes-simplex virus (HSV-1, see Figure 1) adheres strongly to textile fibres. The results clearly indicate that spread of infection may also be possible via, for example, hand towels, serviettes, and dish and cleaning cloths which a herpes sufferer previously used.
During the adhesion experiment at the IHB, a suspension of HSV-1 particles was used to contaminate small swatches of textiles directly. The results indicated that the herpes virus was still present on the textile after 48 hours at room temperature. Based on studies showing that the herpes simplex virus remains persistent on hard surfaces for eight weeks (Mahl and Sadler, 1975), one can suspect that infectious particles were also likely present on the textile.
The virus's DNA could still be found on the swatches even after laundering at 40°C in a conventional household washing machine using household detergents. This underscores the high level of adhesion of the herpes virus to textile fibres, regardless of whether these are infectious particles or not. But after laundering herpes infection via textiles remains improbable because the envelope of the virus, which plays a significant role in transmission, is very delicate. Nevertheless, based on these initial results, the danger of infection cannot conclusively be ruled out.
At the Hohenstein Institute's IHB, now established molecular biological techniques are used to detect the herpes's pathogen due to a specific enzyme reaction to its nucleic acids (DNA). Two steps are required in this process. First, heat is used break up the viral envelope to obtain access to the nucleic acids and extract DNA from the temperature-sensitive HSV-1 particles. Then, a pre-defined section of the DNA is selectively amplified using what is known as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The section of viral DNA can then be detected according to its pre-defined length.
The scientists at the Institute for Hygiene and Biotechnology aim to apply the molecular biological techniques that have been developed not only for research on viruses, but for consumer-orientated services in future. Official authorities in Tuebingen have issued the required permit for genetic engineering research at safety level 1.
This new research discipline at the Hohenstein Institute makes possible, for example, a comprehensive screening of the adhesion of different viruses to textiles in order to gain more precise insight into the potential for their spread via textiles, including garments and other textile products. In future, the knowledge gained through microbiological research can be used in the development of new materials that are resistant to viral adhesion which will prevent the spread viruses that have a pathogenic effect on humans or animals.
Rose-Marie Riedl | idw
Further reports about: > Biotechnology > DNA > HSV-1 > Herpes cold sores > Hohenstein > IHB > contaminated textiles > herpes pathogens > herpes simplex > herpes virus > herpes-simplex virus > molecular biological analysis > nucleic acids > oral hygiene > textile fibres > textiles as infection pathway
New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News