Non-Profit Trusted Source of Non-Commercial Health Information
The Original Voice of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, Preventative, and Regenerative Medicine
logo logo
Genetic Research Immune System Infection Protection Infectious Disease

Herpes Breakthrough Opens Paths For Prevention

1 year, 2 months ago

7153  0
Posted on May 03, 2023, 1 p.m.

According to a study on herpes infections of the eye from the University of Illinois Chicago published in Science Advances, researchers are another step closer to stopping herpes infections as a new protein has been discovered that is important in viral infections, opening new paths to antivirals that could decrease the chances of reinfection.

Heparanase proteins are found in all of our cells, blocking this protein and stopping its activity has been found to protect the eyes from being reinfected. In animal studies, mice with the protein blocked showed no signs of cornea cloudiness after a second infection, compared to unaltered control mice with corneas that showed significant signs of reinfection. 

Additionally, when this protein is activated due to infection it was discovered that the immune system may exacerbate symptoms during a second infection. When heparanase is malfunctioning the virus is more likely to cause disease in those who had been previously infected with the virus. 

When taken together the findings suggest that inhibiting heparanase protein activity may be an effective way to prevent reinfection with herpes simplex virus type 1, and it could potentially lead to a breakthrough in the prevention of the recurrence of these infections. 

“We wanted to know if we could better protect them from infection, and we found that we could,” explained Chandrashekhar D. Patil, co-lead author of the study, and a visiting scholar in the department of ophthalmology and visual science.

Those who are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 multiple times are at an increased risk of health complications like blindness and ulcerative disease, making it important to find a way to reduce reinfection. The researchers suggest that these findings can have a significant impact on public health as they can help provide information about the possible mechanisms of reinfection with other viruses, as other research indicates that heparanase plays a role in coronavirus reinfections as well. 

It was noted that additional research is required to determine and understand the most effective and safe way to inhibit heparanase to prevent viral reinfections, but the findings suggest that blocking this protein could be a promising drug target for future research. 

“This could be the wonder drug down the road,” he said. “We could be looking at a broad spectrum antiviral drug.”

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.

Content may be edited for style and length.

References/Sources/Materials provided by:

WorldHealth Videos