Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More US teens susceptible to HSV-1 infection, a growing cause of genital herpes

17.10.2013
A new study suggests a growing number of U.S. adolescents lack antibodies that may help protect them later in life against an increasingly important cause of genital herpes.

Published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases and available online, the findings show that fewer of today's teens have been exposed in their childhood to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), a common cause of cold sores, than U.S. adolescents in previous years. Without these antibodies, today's teens may be more susceptible—when they become sexually active—to genital infections also caused by the virus, particularly through oral sex.

HSV-1 and a related virus, herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), both cause lifelong infections, with no known cure, that can go through dormant periods after an initial outbreak. Most people contract HSV-1 in childhood, through skin-to-skin contact with an infected adult. HSV-2 is usually transmitted sexually. Though both viruses can cause genital herpes, HSV-1 has been associated with fewer recurrences and less viral shedding than HSV-2.

Recent research, however, suggests that HSV-1 is becoming a significant cause of genital herpes in industrialized countries, with one study finding that nearly 60 percent of genital herpes infections were attributable to HSV-1.

In this latest study, Heather Bradley, PhD, and colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined HSV-1 and HSV-2 prevalence among 14 to 49 year olds in the United States, using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), large nationwide surveys, including blood samples, that are representative of the U.S. population. Investigators estimated the prevalence of antibodies for HSV-1 and HSV-2, or seroprevalence, among different age groups, from the 2005 to 2010 time period and compared it to seroprevalence from the 1999 to 2004 period. They also examined trends in HSV-1 and HSV-2 from earlier time periods.

Dr. Bradley and her team found an overall HSV-1 seroprevalence of 54 percent during the period 2005 to 2010. Among 14 to 19 year olds, HSV-1 seroprevalence declined by nearly 23 percent from the 1999 to 2004 period compared to the 2005 to 2010 period. Among 20 to 29 year olds, HSV-1 seroprevalence declined by more than 9 percent. HSV-1 seroprevalence remained stable in the two oldest age groups (those in their 30s and 40s). HSV-2 seroprevalence was not significantly different across any of the age groups between these two time periods.

The data suggest that an increasing number of U.S. adolescents lack HSV-1 antibodies at their first sexual encounter and are therefore more susceptible to genital herpes resulting from that strain. "In combination with increased oral sex behaviors among young people," the study authors wrote, "this means that adolescents may be more likely than those in previous time periods to genitally acquire HSV-1."

In an accompanying editorial, David W. Kimberlin, MD, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, wrote that the study's "key finding is that HSV-1 seroprevalence among 14 to 19 year olds has declined by nearly 23 percent from 1999-2004 to 2005-2010, from 39.0 percent to 30.1 percent, for an absolute difference of about 9 percent." This absolute difference that has occurred over the past 10 years, Dr. Kimberlin noted, represents an approximately 9 percent decrease in the percentage of adolescents who have already had oral HSV-1 as they enter their sexually active years, when exposure genitally is increasingly common: "Almost one in 10 adolescents who 10 years ago already would have acquired HSV-1 earlier in life now are vulnerable to getting a primary infection" as they become sexually active later in life.

Changes in sexual practices could make the problem worse: An unintended consequence of the success of public campaigns to limit the spread of HIV has led some to embrace the notion that oral sex is "safe," Dr. Kimberlin wrote, despite the fact that oral sex also carries risks, including significant risk of transmission of HSV-1 from the mouth to the genitals. Another serious potential consequence of increased susceptibility to genital herpes caused by HSV-1 is the risk of genital transmission of the virus from mother to baby during delivery, Dr. Kimberlin wrote. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can pose significant problems for newborn infants, who lack a mature immune system capable of fighting these viruses. Up to 30 percent of infected babies will die from this infection if they have the most severe form of the disease, Dr. Kimberlin noted.

The study authors stressed the importance of continued surveillance of HSV-1 and HSV-2 to monitor the changing epidemiology of these diseases and to help inform prevention strategies for genital herpes and vaccine development efforts against herpes viruses.

Fast Facts:

1) A new study suggests that an increasing number of U.S. adolescents lack antibodies to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), making them potentially more susceptible to genital herpes caused by the virus when they become sexually active in future years.

2) Using nationwide data, researchers found that the prevalence of antibodies for HSV-1, or seroprevalence, among 14 to 19 year olds declined by nearly 23 percent from the 1999 to 2004 period compared to the 2005 to 2010 period. Among 20 to 29 year olds, HSV-1 seroprevalence declined by more than 9 percent.

3) With recent research suggesting that HSV-1 is an increasingly important cause of genital herpes in industrialized countries, continued surveillance of HSV-1 and HSV-2 and prevention strategies for new infections are needed.

NOTE: The study and related editorial are available online. They are embargoed until 12:05 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 17.

Published continuously since 1904, The Journal of Infectious Diseases is the premier global journal for original research on infectious diseases. The editors welcome major articles and brief reports describing research results on microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, and related disciplines, on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases; on the microbes that cause them; and on disorders of host immune responses. The journal is an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Based in Arlington, Va., IDSA is a professional society representing nearly 10,000 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases. For more information, visit http://www.idsociety.org.

Jerica Pitts | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.idsociety.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>