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Swedish lab offers hope on genital herpes vaccine

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 17 Mar 2010, 10:33

Published: 17 Mar 2010 10:33 GMT+01:00

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The vaccine, which uses a protein produced by the type 2 herpes virus together with a substance which stimulates the immune system, has been developed by researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg.

The research team vaccinated a sample of mice and were able to trace the infection - the first time this has been achieved with the herpes virus. The study found that somewhere between the mucous membrane and the spinal ganglion the infection lost its virility.

"We found the genome of the virus in the spinal cord, but no viable virus particles. We do not know where on the path from the mucous membrane to the nerve cell that it has lost its ability to cause disease," said Staffan Görander at the Sahlgrenska Academy to the newspaper.

It is hoped that further research will enable the new vaccine to provide protection against the most common form of genital herpes which is caused by the herpes simplex virus, with type 2 being the most common.

Story continues below…

Around 500 million people are infected with genital herpes, which is transferred sexually and substantially increases the risk of being infected with HIV. There is currently no vaccine against the disease.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:41 March 17, 2010 by sherkovic
where is the reference to the original article?
11:45 March 17, 2010 by wenddiver
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:27 March 17, 2010 by Twiceshy
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:34 March 17, 2010 by calebian22
I had no idea mice had a problem with herpes. They must be very happy to be herpes free. ;-)
13:48 March 17, 2010 by zircon
Protest: five minutes not enough?
14:51 March 17, 2010 by bolababu
ha ha ha ha, ..good news for Swedish women, at last!
15:10 March 17, 2010 by sissygirl
This is a vaccine, not a cure. When will it be available? I have teenagers. You never know who is infected and it takes only once to catch it.

Bolababu: that was just wrong dude
15:19 March 17, 2010 by Nemesis
Hopefully the vaccine will soon be available and be given to all.
17:49 March 17, 2010 by eZee.se
Good news, from what i have read that s*!t's like luggage.. you carry it around with you the rest of your life ;))

And pictures on google look scary as well, am happy for the people who do have this can now look forward to being clean agian.
18:04 March 17, 2010 by planet.sweden
Herpes is far more than just an irritating STD. Recent research suggests there's a strong correlation between herpes type 1 (what Swedes refer to as 'mouth herpes' and many others as cold sores) and alzheimer's disease. As such a break through for that variant is if anything even more urgently required.

One positive thought is that the DNA makeup of types 1 and 2 is almost identical.

A negative thought is that Sweden already has amongst the highest incidence of herpes type 1 in the world with some research suggesting up to 70 pct of the population is infected.

So what's really needed is a cure. Hopefully this is a first step.
18:11 March 17, 2010 by peropaco
A good step would be that people start using their brain and not dip the stick without a raincoat.
18:18 March 17, 2010 by planet.sweden
"Herpes is far more than just an irritating STD. Recent research suggests there's a strong correlation between herpes type 1 and alzheimer's disease"

I would add genetics still seem to be very important, with some genetic profiles blocking the virus from causing alzheimer's, and other profiles aiding it. So the lottery continues.
20:18 March 17, 2010 by DAVID T
The poor mice
23:55 March 17, 2010 by val1234
Wenddiver, oh really? No need to worry about an AIDS cure? What if a loved one gets AIDS? What if there is a mess up with a blood transfusion? What if you are raped?? You are one short-sighted person.
00:19 March 18, 2010 by mamaem
Comment: You don't even have to have sex to catch herpes, and live like a protestant?? How about crawling in under a rock and die? Then you might be lucky enough not to catch it. About 80% of people with herpes don't even know they have it - so I strongly suggest people with smart ass comments go get tested. It might come back and bite you on the bum. Literally. But yay for Swedes, not only do they have one the best health care systems in the world, but they also excel in their research. Good on them!!! Beautiful country, hope to go there one day!!!
05:20 March 18, 2010 by bolababu
@Sissygirl, ..my sincere apologies.
07:20 March 18, 2010 by Rick Methven
"A negative thought is that Sweden already has amongst the highest incidence of herpes type 1 in the world with some research suggesting up to 70 pct of the population is infected"

Its not that 70% of Swedes have herpes. What the drug companies say - to sell their cures is that up to 70% of Swedes may get a cold sore in their lives
10:48 March 18, 2010 by aliharandi
Where is the article reference? Genital herpes in mice is very different from that of human. The proble in human is recurrent genital herpes symptoms that you never see in mice. It is premature to call this a vaccine! Yet another journalistic way of disseminating Science!!!!
13:52 March 18, 2010 by here for the summer

1st type II ( genital ) is different than type I ( oral ) . But in both cases once you are infected you are infected and subject to future breakouts without being reinfected. People react differently to the virus ( genetics ) but it is a bad problem . My wife and some of my kids both have frequent breakouts of type I and a vaccine would be very helpful. It costs a lot to prove safety and efficacy of a drug 20 to 500 million usd so someone has to invest and get a return to make these cures possible.

@ali .

mice and humans are different and it will take millions of investment to make a human vaccine but this is a start ..
16:42 March 18, 2010 by planet.sweden
@Rick Methven

"Its not that 70% of Swedes have herpes. What the drug companies say - to sell their cures is that up to 70% of Swedes may get a cold sore in their lives"

It is that 70 pct of Swedes have herpes. If you get cold sores, you've got herpes, and if you've got herpes you've got it for life. That is what I was referring to. The two countries with the highest incidence of herpes type 1 are the US (estimated at anything up to 80 pct) and Sweden - up to 70 pct. This research doesn't come from the drug companies.

It is also possible to have herpes without any symptoms and still be contagious, and people with herpes who do get symptoms can still be contagious even when they are not showing any symptoms. This is why the herpes virus is so successful.

Part of the problem is that s will insist on kissing babies, without thinking. Many people pick it up in childhood as a result of affection.
07:35 March 19, 2010 by wenddiver
Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud.. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, itkeeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesey in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappear.--Pauls letter to the Corinthians

How does this compare with the temporary sexuality of our mis-guided society? Do the men who peddle the sexual exploitation of our Brothers and Sisters by various semi-strangers offer a better life? Is there really so much wisdom in filth, that it is better than the knowledge you will find devoting yourself to Loving one special person? Is some slobbering stranger from a bar, disco or a bath house superior to the real love between a Woman and a man? Can risky behaviors with strangers who care nothing about you really replace real Love? You can not find true love grabbing strangers at a snuggle party or have sex with 20 strangers in aa bath house. You can however exchange a lot of STDs, and kid yourself your happy.
15:47 March 19, 2010 by sissygirl
wenddiver: unfortunately, innocent people contract this disease from spouses who had previous partners. The spouse is probably faithful but has that dirty little secret. And there are creeps who prey on innocent naive people who think they are truly in love. I have never had a cold sore, so I guess my mouth has never been where it shouldn't.
18:21 March 19, 2010 by planet.sweden
@here for the summer

Actually mice and humans genes are 85 pct the same

10:15 March 23, 2010 by ChickyO
To the fools ie


'Fahad Waqas'


1. herpes can be contracted through sex whilst using a condom!

2.Having herpes does not mean your insides are now ugly!

3.being a protestant will not protect you from contracting herpes or Aids!

and last but not least none of you will ever truely understand what it is like to have HSV unless you know you have it, so you should maybe keep your comments to yourself, as you all look like complete dumb arses who really have no idea what they are commenting on.

Below you shall find some facts that i have compiled for the dumb arses :) who would like to make further uneducated comments:

Most of the people that have herpes dont even know it , herpes can lie dormant in your system with no symptoms for years. You may never have an outbreak. You may have an outbreak that mild that you arent even aware of it. You may have only one outbreak in your life and never again. You can have a blood test and it show up negative but still have the virus, so you go on thinking your just fine. It usually takes a swab of the affected area to actually become aware that you even have HSV which needs to be done while you have visable signs of the virus enough to take a swab. This may never happen.

And the fact that any one could have had sex with someone who has HSV and has no idea they do is highly likely.

For all the people who actually are excited about this breakthrough lets hope this is the start to a cure!!! Thank You to the poor lab rats!!! Thank you to the Researchers!!!
06:43 March 24, 2010 by Jehnavi
This is great news and hopefully will mean the end to this highly contagious disease. Let's just hope the FDA and other American Powers That Be won't find a reason to prevent it's being used here.
12:45 April 28, 2010 by Jehnavi
A trial outcome has indicated that a HSV-contracted individual in a heterosexually, monogamous association and taking valacyclovir every day for preventing recurring outbreaks, lowers the chances of transmitting the infection to his/her mate by nearly half. Other anti-viral drugs might additionally lower transmission, however additional research is required. http://www.womenhealthcenter.net/
20:15 September 10, 2010 by Murad
thank to the researcher, this will save peaple who we love, and for sure alisson should be taken for who are infected, the problem is the financial point, researcher require fund and medicine maker earn more with no cure or vaccine.
06:47 November 5, 2010 by JustAnotherGuy
I guess that explains why the mice around here have cold sores haha
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