Herpes research turns up genetic combatant

July 18, 2013
Herpes research turns up genetic combatant
The research focused on developing small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules that could silence key targets in the genetic make-up of HSV-1. Credit: Ed Uthman

(Medical Xpress)—A molecule that could potentially be used to fight herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) has been discovered by Curtin University scientists.

Curtin PhD student and University of Chittagong Assistant Professor Adnan Mannan, supervised the study which was designed to find new for HSV-1.

His team consisted of students from the University of Chittagong's Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology department.

Prof Mannan says the research is important as the prevalence of HSV-1 is growing worldwide yet effective treatments are still not available.

"Herpes simplex is a very common disease in Bangladesh and sub-continental countries, even in the Western countries, as it is a sexually transmitted disease," he says.

"The virus is something that is unpredictable.

"There still isn't any 100 per cent efficient, gold standard drug against this disease.

"The main problem is the drugs are not working well as they cannot stop the gene response or gene expression [of HSV-1]."

The research focused on developing small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules that could silence key targets in the genetic make-up of HSV-1.

Using information from previous genetic studies, Prof Mannan and his team used computer software to identify targets for the ICP22 (US1) gene that is found in seven different strains of HSV-1.

"We targeted a gene in the called CP22 (US1) as after [the virus affects] the body, immediately that gene is expressed" Prof Mannan says.

Computational methods were then used to design and test siRNA molecules that could knock down viral activity by silencing the CP22 (US1) gene.

Two effective siRNA were found.

Prof Mannan hopes these findings will lead to further advancements in the treatment of HSV-1.

"This study has designed a new target against HSV-1," Prof Mannan says.

"We proved the stability of these siRNA in human body cells as well from different parameters by computational tools.

"So this might be a good candidate for drugs like tablets."

The National Prescribing Service says virus-1 is the cause of cold sores and genital and currently cannot be cured.

Existing oral anti-viral therapy include the drugs famciclovir and valaciclovir which reduces the length and severity of an HSV-1 outbreak.

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2 comments

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pozguy
not rated yet Jul 18, 2013
Living with Herpes is really hard, especially when you are a single. According to a report from the official Herpes singles dating site Localherpesdating.net, 98% of its members who used to be on a general dating site to find the love and support were rejected by others. That could be the reason that why it is so popular and now has more than 730,000 members and most of them are verified. It also offers 24X7 customer services.
HollyIves
not rated yet Jul 18, 2013
It is important to talk to a partner and see how your partner feels about
not using a condom. Just because you have herpes doesn't mean that you
will always have to use a condom for long term relationships. Most couples
who get married don't always use condoms. When a couple gets married or is
in a long term relationship it might be understood that herpes becomes a
part of a couples life. In many cases the virus is weak and people show
mild symptoms. Medication could be taken to help a person deal with any
herpes symptoms.
It is from our STD counselor, find your Long Term Relationship & Support on HerpesLTR.com

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