Friday, May 24, 2024

Gene Therapy Showing Promise as Potential Cure for Herpes

Experimental Gene Therapy Shows Promise as Potential Cure for Herpes

Researchers at the Fred Hutch Cancer Center in Seattle have made a groundbreaking discovery that could lead to a potential cure for genital and oral herpes. An experimental gene therapy has successfully removed 90% or more of oral herpes infection in lab mice, and it also significantly reduced the amount of virus shed by infected animals.

The gene therapy involves an injection of gene-editing molecules that target the herpes virus hiding in the body. These molecules act as “molecular scissors” that specifically target and damage the virus’s DNA, making it unable to repair itself. Lead researcher Dr. Keith Jerome explained that the therapy is designed to eliminate the virus and reduce the risk of transmission to others.

With an estimated 3.7 billion people under 50 affected by herpes simplex virus 1 (oral herpes) and 491 million people aged 15 to 49 affected by herpes simplex 2 (genital herpes), this potential cure could have a significant impact on global health.

The experimental therapy showed promising results, eliminating 90% of facial infection and 97% of genital infection in lab mice infected with herpes simplex 1. The reduction of the virus became more complete over time, suggesting long-term effectiveness.

Researchers are now preparing to translate these findings into treatments for humans that can be tested in clinical trials. The streamlined gene-editing approach is not only effective at eliminating the herpes virus but also shows fewer side effects, making it safer and easier to produce.

This groundbreaking research opens the door to a potential cure for genital and oral herpes, offering hope to millions of people affected by these common viral infections. Stay tuned for more updates as researchers work towards developing a cure that could change the lives of those living with herpes.

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