There is exciting news in the field of herpes cure research this July.
A team of researches in Europe have found that a prescription drug that is being normally used to treat Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome(AIDS) could possibly be used to also treat the disease caused by the herpes virus. The drug is known as raltegravir. It is currently being sold by the pharmaceutical firm Merck under the name of Isentress.
The SPINE2-COMPLEXES Project
The study is being funded by the SPINE2-COMPLEXES project which works under a twelve million euro grant. They believe that this could lead to the development of a drug that might be able to truly fight the entire herpes virus family all the way from Herpes Simplex Virus 1. This is another step closer to a cure for herpes.
Lead by the researches from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona, Spain, these scientists found that the drug raltegravir can neutralize an vital protein that a certain kind of herpes virus uses in order to replicate.
According to Miquel Coll of the IRB team, “…humans do not have the viral protein that is affected, thus this would allow a highly specific drug that does not show the secondary effects that other drugs may have…” He also added that the inhibitor that is being used is not harmful to humans because it is already being used commercially and thus the dosage levels that are safe to people are already known. And finally (and more importantly), they have also found that the protein that is being neutralized by raltegravir may be present in all types of herpes virus. What this means is that the drug could possibly used to treat to ALL herpes types.
Herpes viruses include pathogens such as herpes simplex 1 and 2 – the virus that causes chickenpox (otherwise known as zoster virus), the Epstein-Barr virus (which is associated with several types of cancer), the roseola virus, the cytomegalovirus and the herpes virus associated with the cancer Kaposi sarcoma.
Drug that stops AIDS viruses from multiplying may also stop the Herpes Virus
In order to multiply, the herpes virus goes into the nucleus of a cell and uses it’s host to replicate it’s DNA several times. Once this is done, proteins known as a TERMINASE cut up the DNA into several fragments and inserts these into empty “cell shells”. The new virus cells then move on to keep up the infection.
So far, they have only been able to perform the tests on the particular protein in test tubes. The next step now, according to the researchers, would be to try to experiment on infected cells to valdiate the effect of the drug as well as to test the effectivity of the drug on all the other types of herpes viruses. They will continue on this research while we will try to keep you posted on this probable herpes cure.
In the meantime, the best options for treating herpes symptoms such as cold sores are still the prescription medication antivirals like Valtrex which act to suppress symptoms or topical treatments.