Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Scientists find a new way to attack herpesviruses

Human cytomegalovirus is a leading cause of birth defects and transplant failures. As it's evolved over time, this virus from the herpes family has found a way to bypass the body's defense mechanisms that usually guards against ...

Medical research

Radical vaccine design effective against herpes viruses

Herpes simplex virus infections are an enormous global health problem and there is currently no viable vaccine. For nearly three decades, immunologists' efforts to develop a herpes vaccine have centered on exploiting a single ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

New study highlights Alzheimer's herpes link, experts say

A new commentary by scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh on a study by Taiwanese epidemiologists supports the viability of a potential way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

HIV & AIDS

Clinical trial of herpes vaccine now enrolling patients

Creating a successful vaccine against two members of the family, the sexually transmitted herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2), has proven to be challenging. A clinical trial being conducted by a branch of the National ...

Neuroscience

Study explains why patients with shingles feel pain

In most cases, chickenpox is a benign childhood infection with symptoms that disappear within 10 days. However, the Varicella zoster virus (VZV) that causes it remains dormant in the patient forever. In some cases, the virus ...

Medical research

Researchers link herpes to Alzheimer's disease

Laboratories at the University of New Mexico (UNM), Brown University, and House Ear Institute (HEI) have developed a new technique to observe herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) infections growing inside cells. HSV1, the cause ...

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Herpes simplex virus

Herpes simplex virus 1 (HWJ-1) Herpes simplex virus 2 (HWJ-2)

Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) are two species of the herpes virus family, Herpesviridae, which cause infections in humans. Eight members of herpes virus infect humans to cause a variety of illnesses including cold sores, chickenpox or varicella, shingles or herpes zoster (VZV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and various cancers, and can cause brain inflammation (encephalitis). All viruses in the herpes family produce life-long infections.

They are also called Human Herpes Virus 1 and 2 (HHV-1 and HHV-2) and are neurotropic and neuroinvasive viruses; they enter and hide in the human nervous system, accounting for their durability in the human body. HSV-1 is commonly associated with herpes outbreaks of the face known as cold sores or fever blisters, whereas HSV-2 is more often associated with genital herpes.

An infection by a herpes simplex virus is marked by watery blisters in the skin or mucous membranes of the mouth, lips or genitals. Lesions heal with a scab characteristic of herpetic disease. However, the infection is persistent and symptoms may recur periodically as outbreaks of sores near the site of original infection. After the initial, or primary, infection, HSV becomes latent in the cell bodies of nerves in the area. Some infected people experience sporadic episodes of viral reactivation, followed by transportation of the virus via the nerve's axon to the skin, where virus replication and shedding occurs.

Herpes is contagious if the carrier is producing and shedding the virus. This is especially likely during an outbreak but possible at other times. There is no cure yet, but there are treatments which reduce the likelihood of viral shedding.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA