Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds herpes virus in 98% of healthy participants

06.01.2005


A study led by Dr. Herbert Kaufman, Boyd Professor of Ophthalmology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, published in the January issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, found that 98% of the participants who are healthy individuals with no evidence of any symptoms did in fact shed herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1) DNA in their tears and saliva at least once during the course of the 30-day study. The study was undertaken to assess the frequency of shedding of HSV-1 DNA in tears and saliva of asymptomatic individuals.



While not the first, the researchers report that this study uses the most sensitive techniques in a cross-sectional assessment performed to date of the presence of HSV-1 DNA in the eyes and mouths of healthy individuals, in terms of population size and total samples collected.

HSV-1, and to a lesser extent, HSV-2 are known to be the leading causes of virus-induced blindness in the Western world, with approximately 500,000 individuals having herpetic eye disease in the United States. Humans are reservoirs for herpes viruses and shedding in infected individuals when they are asymptomatic is a major factor in the transmission of the virus.


The 50 participants, who were recruited from the general population, ranged in age from 19 to 71. Nineteen were male and 31 female. African-Americans comprised 78% of the participants. The participants were asked to provide a blood sample as well as samples from twice daily swabs of their eyes and mouths for 30 consecutive days. Samples were analyzed using methods including real-time PCR, the gold standard for HSV detection in clinical samples.

Shedding was intermittent, but overall, 49 participants (98%) shed HSV-1 DNA at least once during the study. Thirty-seven participants (74%) had positive blood test results. The percentages of positive results between the eye and mouth swabs were approximately equivalent, but one measure showed higher volume in saliva than in tears. Only one participant did not shed any HSV-1 DNA. Three participants shed HSV-1 DNA in their tears but not their saliva and two had only positive saliva swabs.

Population demographics play a fundamental role in the prevalence of HSV infections. Other documented significant predictors include age, stress, socioeconomic status, level of education, age of first intercourse and total years of sexual activity. Several studies have noted an increase in herpetic disease with increased age. This could be a result of repeated infection and/or reactivation of the primary HSV infection. Also, natural stress factors such as sunlight exposure may have been a contributing factor to HSV-1 DNA shedding. UV exposure is a known trigger to activate latent HSV.

"The fact that HSV-1 DNA was discovered in such a high percentage of healthy people in the general population tells us that the virus is everywhere and it’s unavoidable," said Dr. Kaufman, who developed the first effective antiviral drug for herpes infections of the eye.

In addition to Dr. Kaufman, the research team included Drs. James Hill, Hilary Thompson, Gregory Sloop, as well as Emily Varnell and Ann Azcuy. They concluded that control of virus excretion could well limit transmission, especially of more virulent strains of virus. More important, if such a high proportion of adults excrete virus, the reduction and/or prevention of virus excretion may be a simple, cost-effective way to evaluate new antiviral drugs.

Leslie Capo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lsuhsc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>