Research holds promise for herpes vaccine

A study by a Montana State University researcher suggests a new avenue for developing a vaccine against genital herpes and other diseases caused by herpes simplex viruses. In a study published earlier this year in the Virology Journal, MSU virologist William Halford showed that mice vaccinated with a live, genetically-modified herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) showed no signs of disease 30 days after being exposed to a particularly lethal “wild-type” strain of the virus.A study by a Montana State University researcher suggests a new avenue for developing a vaccine against genital herpes and other diseases caused by herpes simplex viruses.

In a study published earlier this year in the Virology Journal, MSU virologist William Halford showed that mice vaccinated with a live, genetically-modified herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) showed no signs of disease 30 days after being exposed to a particularly lethal “wild-type” strain of the virus.

In contrast, a second group of mice that received a more conventional vaccine died within six days of being exposed to the same “wild-type” strain.

“We have a clear roadmap for producing an effective live vaccine against genital herpes,” said Halford, who works in MSU’s Department of Veterinary Molecular Biology. “Although my studies were performed with HSV-1, the implications for HSV-2-induced genital herpes are clear. Overall the two viruses are about 99 percent genetically identical.”

An estimated 55 million Americans carry herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), which causes genital herpes. Infection is life-long. Approximately 5 percent of those with genital herpes – 2 million to 3 million Americans – suffer outbreaks one to four times annually. A vaccine offering life-long protection does not exist.

The key to Halford’s research was understanding how the herpes simplex virus overcame the body’s natural defenses.

A cell infected with the herpes simplex virus sends a warning to neighboring cells. This warning — an interferon response — causes neighboring cells to enter “an anti-viral state” akin to putting on a suit of armor, Halford said.

However, herpes produces a protein, ICP0, that tricks every infected cell into destroying its own armor. Once the cell’s armor is gone, the virus can propagate itself and spread to other cells, which are in turn tricked into lowering their defenses.

In his research, Halford created a vaccine where the genetic instructions that make ICP0 were disrupted. Without instructions on how to do its clever ICP0 trick, the virus can still establish an infection in animals, but the spread of the virus is stopped long before disease can occur.

“In short, we can disarm the virus such that it is absolutely unable to cause disease, but is still remarkably potent as a vaccine,” Halford said.

In a human vaccine, the genetic instructions for ICP0 would actually be removed, creating an “attenuated,” or weakened virus. The rest of the herpes simplex virus’ genetic code would remain intact. Measles, mumps, rubella, polio and yellow fever vaccines are all made from attenuated viruses.

Research in recent decades has focused on subunit vaccines, which are made from one piece of a virus (a protein subunit). Subunit vaccines are safer than attenuated virus vaccines because the subunit cannot replicate or cause disease. However, subunit vaccines have proven ineffective in protecting people against persistent infections like genital herpes and AIDS, Halford said.

“From a theoretical standpoint, subunit vaccines are poor mimics of a natural virus infection,” Halford said. “There’s not enough there for our immune systems to build a protective response against the actual virus.”

Halford, 38, is aware that his approach is controversial.

“This is where I’m young enough that I don’t know how long it can take to swing popular opinion among scientists and clinicians,” he said. “I would hope that in five to six years the scientific community would be willing to seriously consider these proposals.”

Halford hopes to find a commercial partner or secure government funding to advance his research toward a human vaccine.

“I’d like to take this concept from the chalkboard to the clinics,” he said.

From Montana State University

 

259 thoughts on “Research holds promise for herpes vaccine

  1. Developing a vaacccine would be excellent!! Would not have had to go through the hell of realizing that I would have to live with this for life. I had contracted it about 2 years ago. After trying a bunch of ointments, tinctures, etc…I came across this herb called Hypericum mysorense while looking for herbal remedies. I ffinished the course about 6 months ago, and have not had an outbreak since. Definitely worth checking out..

  2. Please Stop Looking for The Herpes Cure and Just Support it Release
    Please Read!!!
    Proof is Provide Wthin
    Many Americas are living with HSV-2 and by signing this petition; you are saying that you will vote against any government official that does not the necessary action to support this petition and turn it in bill. In order to get what we want we must be willing to stand up and fight for it through voting for public officials that support the release of these inventions and voting against the public official that do not support this petition.
    This petition is demanding the immediate release of patents 7,935,235 and 8,067,010 to the public.
    The reason why we are demanding the release of these two inventions is because both inventions where made possible with Government Grants and because it is duty of the United State government to protect the people from threats foreign and domestic and HSV family is a domestic threat
    (Patent 7,935,235) Belief Description of what the invention does
    This invention relates to a method for systemic immune activation which is effective for eliciting both a systemic, non-antigen specific immune response and a strong antigen-specific immune response in a mammal. The method is particularly effective for protecting a mammal from herpes simplex virus. Also disclosed are therapeutic compositions useful in such a method.
    You are a mammal if you didn’t know that.
    Funding information This invention was made with government support under Grant No. 1 R41 AI065015-01 awarded by National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Grant No. AI50132 awarded by National Institutes of Health. The government has certain rights in the invention.
    Like to take it if the people demands by voting for it.
    (Patent 8,067,010) ) Belief Description of what the invention does
    The pharmaceutical compositions can be used both prophylactically and therapeutically. The antigens of the invention are recognized by T cells recovered from herpetic lesions. The invention additionally provides methods, including methods for preventing and treating HSV infection, for killing HSV-infected cells, for inhibiting viral replication, for enhancing secretion of antiviral and/or immunomodulatory lymphokines, and for enhancing production of HSV-specific antibody.
    Funding information
    The invention was made with government support under grant numbers AI34616 and AI30731, awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The government has certain rights in the invention.
    Like to take it if the people demands by voting for it.
    The Proof
    Click on the following links
    1. Vaccinating against HSV-1&2 http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,935,352.PN.&OS=PN/7,935,352&RS=PN/
    2. The method for CURING HSV-1&2: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8067010.PN.&OS=PN/8067010&RS=PN/8067010
    If knowledge is power then you have just received a whole a lot of power. Now exercise your new found strengthen and power and demand the release of the cure from you state Reps and congress. By threating to vote for some that will. So when your children’s or when your children’s children ask you Mom or Dad or Grandma or Grandpapa. What is Genital Herpes you can look them in the eyes and say something you will never have you to worry about ?
    Sign petition below
    http://www.change.org/petitions/50-million-against-hsv-2

  3. It’s pathetic to see how many people in US pay so much attention to such common STD. HSV-1 is actually much, much dangerous than HSV-2 becuase it certain cases can spread to the eyes and brain and then again HSV-2 it is a problem because the stupid stigma of “genital herpes”.

    Both Viruses are 99% identical (DNA) they only differ on the “prefer” site of infection. But if you get HSV-1 is “OK” because is acquired mostly through kissing and not sexual intercourse. Well HSV-1 can also infect the genitals (rarely but possible).

    How someone in the right mind dare to compare HIV with herpes!!!! Herpes are in most cases only a nuance and nothing else. Stop obsessing about herpes and get on with your life for God sake, have sex, enjoy the fact that you have a harmless STD and not cancer or some other terminal illness. I’m sure you can find plenty of really sick people willing to trade your stupid herpes for theirs ailments.

    Cheers!!!

  4. The effort is really optimistic for a herpesfree world. We are awaiting eagerly for the outcome of Dr. William Halford….

  5. Genital Herpes Cures

    It is really alarming that 55 millions of Americans are infected and any break through in genital herpes cure is eagerly awaited. Eliminating a protein seems to rob the HSV2 of its killer power, but viruses are known to adapt very quickly. Secondly, what seems to work on mice may not exactly work on humans. Anyhow, best of luck!

    Thank you in taking all this initiative.

  6. *Lesson #1*
    They won’t make a vaccine cure available to the public at any price at any point in time. Because even if the government were to charge each vaccine at 25,000$ per shot it wouldn’t compare to each of the 1/4, 8million Americans who have the virus and purchase and stock up on their creams and pills every month ranging anywhere from 30-100+$ monthly (providing you have healthcare or purchase cheap over the counter crap) which only suppress the symptoms but doesn’t completely rid them. It wouldn’t be worth it for them to reveal a cure when the money is so good already. You see, having you and the people after you keep the virus dormant in your bodies and having you come back to them every so often for your quick fix, is constant never ending money for pharmaceutical companies. Valtrex and all that…you see…the world is a college of corporations, execrably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. Essentially the world is a business. There will never be a cure for you…unless, you go to university and study chem/bio both in school and leisurely for fifteen to twenty more years and try to figure out a cure for yourself. Then & only then maybe, you’ll be able to cure yourself. The best part is you will earn millions of dollars annually just to keep the cure under wraps and between you and your colleagues. You will be introduced to flying cars, virtual reality gaming, lifelike robots, Fiber-based nano generator clothing! (<_< really u should look it up) & custom-made organs (<_< can’t profit off a man who has no lungs) before you will ever see a cure for aids herpes or cancer. It’s us against the elite. Will you see Magic Johnson searching or blogging about aids remedies and support groups online? No. He doesn’t have to :) That’s a fact jack, pray, eat well, exercise, laugh, and learn. That is your way out. It’s easier said then done ill tell you that, but it’s the only way. At the end of the day we’re all human and have to deal with this shit. OneLove people _Trae

    • “They” can’t stop us all forever.. Somewhere a Genius is concieved every hour of the day and every minute of the night…

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