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

US approves new, hard-to-abuse hydrocodone pill (Update)

17 hours ago

U.S. government health regulators on Thursday approved the first hard-to-abuse version of the painkiller hydrocodone, offering an alternative to a similar medication that has been widely criticized for lacking ...

Soaring generic drug prices draw Senate scrutiny

21 hours ago

Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health care costs for decades are seeing unexpected price spikes of up to 8,000 percent, prompting a backlash from patients, pharmacists and now Washington ...

Only half of patients take their medications as prescribed

Nov 20, 2014

The cost of patients not taking their medications as prescribed can be substantial in terms of their health. Although a large amount of research evidence has tried to address this problem, there are no well-established ...

Interpol call for roadmap to tackle fake drugs

Nov 19, 2014

Interpol on Wednesday called for a greater global response to pharmaceutical crime as it warned criminal gangs were capitalising on weaknesses in legislation and border controls.

Empagliflozin in type 2 diabetes: Added benefit not proven

Nov 19, 2014

Empagliflozin (trade name Jardiance) has been approved since May 2014 for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus in whom diet and exercise alone do not provide adequate glycaemic control. The German Institute for Quality and ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.