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Herpes simplex virus 2, commonly referred to as genital herpes, has no cure, but a team of researchers from Cambridge, Mass., may be on the road to finding one. Genocea Biosciences announced its encouraging results at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Denver.
Clinical trial results
After testing the new vaccine on 143 patients, Genocea Biosciences found positive results for the drug. There were no ill side effects among patients who had tested positive for the sexually transmitted disease genital herpes. The vaccine was able to slow down the reproduction of the virus in humans, according to lab tests.
However, the firm now has to wait and see if the vaccine is able to curb the symptoms of genital herpes. If the vaccine proves to be successful, research can begin on testing the vaccine in patients for a second phase.
The herpes virus can be very difficult for the immune system to track and kill. While herpes microbes spend some amount of time in the blood stream where they are vulnerable to B cells, the virus generally hides in nerve tissue, making it difficult to eliminate. The new vaccine will help T cells identify the virus hidden in nerve tissue, and the immune system can handle the rest, according to Xconomy.
Genital herpes signs, symptoms and treatment
Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus. It is spread through contact from the mouth and genitals and affects the mucus membranes. The disease causes sores and blisters that can spread the disease. However, the infection can still spread without the presence of these skin rashes, so STD testing is important for those engaging in sexual activity.
Some people never show skin-based symptoms of herpes at all, but those who do often have severe reactions within the first two days to two weeks after exposure. Symptoms include skins rashes, fever, nausea, muscle pains in the lower back and other, flu-like symptoms. The U.S. National Library of Medicine noted that these symptoms can often be mistaken for other sicknesses, underscoring the importance of regular STD tests for those who may have come in contact with the infection.
For discreet diagnosis of herpes and other common STDs, a lab test online may be the answer.
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