Novel vaccine reduces shedding of genital herpes virus

Sexually transmitted infection researchers potentially have reached a milestone in vaccine treatment for genital herpes, according to a report to be presented at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Denver, Colo., on today, Sept. 12.

Kenneth H. Fife, M.D., is the principal investigator for the IU School of Medicine clinical study of the vaccine for herpes 2 called GEN-003. According to an interim analysis, the experimental protein subunit vaccine made by Genocea Biosciences of Cambridge, Mass., effectively reduces viral shedding.

"Typically vaccines do not modulate a disease someone already has contracted," said Fife, a professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology. "The virus can be detected on the skin of people with genital herpes even when they are not having an outbreak. That is often how the disease is spread, often called viral shedding."

The injectable vaccine is given several times over the course of a few weeks. The clinical study is closed to enrollment, but participants continue to be followed. GEN-003 is one of the first vaccines intended to reduce the viral shedding and frequency and severity of outbreaks and transmission of type 2, which is the most common cause of genital herpes. It is estimated to infect more than 500 million people worldwide, and one out of six people age 14 to 49. In the U.S., an estimated 50-60 million people are affected.

"Although the ultimate goal of this vaccine is reducing outbreaks and reducing transmission of the virus to others, this is only the first step on a long path toward reaching that goal. It will take several more studies and a number of years to determine if we can reach that goal," Fife cautioned.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study reveals new approach for stopping herpes infections

Mar 25, 2013

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered a novel strategy for preventing infections due to the highly common herpes simplex viruses, the microbes responsible for causing genital ...

Research shows progress toward a genital herpes vaccine

Jan 04, 2012

An investigational vaccine protected some women against infection from one of the two types of herpes simplex viruses that cause genital herpes, according to findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Recurring genital problems could be herpes

Apr 11, 2011

A study of patients attending sexual health clinics in Gothenburg found that just four out of ten patients with genital herpes actually knew that they had the disorder. However, a third of those who did not realise that they ...

Recommended for you

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

14 hours ago

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...

Drug watchdog urges vigilance in cancer drug theft

17 hours ago

Europe's medicine watchdog urged doctors Thursday to be vigilant in administering the cancer drug Herceptin, vials of which had been stolen in Italy and tampered with before being sold back into the supply chain.

Pyridoxine-doxylamine drug safety data lacking

Apr 16, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—The most commonly prescribed drug for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness in their first trimester does not prevent birth defects even though drug safety data says it does, according to research ...

User comments