Navigation Links
Anti-herpes treatment reduces HIV levels in women infected with both viruses

Experts call for HSV control measures, including vaccine, to rank high on international HIV prevention and research agenda as exciting trial findings are published

Treating women who are infected with both the HSV-2 and HIV viruses with anti-herpes treatment can reduce the amount of HIV in the blood and genital secretions, according to the results of a trial published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A collaborative group of scientists from the Centre Muraz (Burkina Faso), the University of Montpellier (France) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK) carried out the trial among women co-infected with the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) and the virus that causes genital herpes (HSV-2) in Burkina Faso. The results showed that having the herpes virus increased the replication of HIV, and also revealed that the quantity of HIV in the blood and in the vagina was reduced by continuous anti-herpes treatment over 3 months.

These findings open new avenues for the prevention of HIV transmission and for the management of patients co-infected by the two viruses.

In 2005, an estimated 4.1 million people were newly infected with HIV, mostly through heterosexual intercourse1. This alarming number of infections highlights the urgent need to intensify and expand proven prevention methods, and further, to identify and implement new methods of HIV prevention.

A number of observational studies have indicated that HSV-2 enhances the risk of HIV-1 acquisition by around three-fold2. HSV-2 infection may also increase HIV-1 infectiousness by disrupting the genital mucosa and increasing the levels of HIV in the genital tract3, allowing easier transmissibility of the virus. In addition, the HIV viral load in the blood of HIV-1 infected patients increases, at least temporarily, during episodes of HSV reactivation.

Lead author Dr. Nicolas Nagot, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (L SHTM), explains: 'Behavioural interventions are not always successful, as knowledge does not necessarily translate into sexual behaviour change. Therefore, innovative methods that target the biological susceptibility of individuals to acquire or transmit HIV are also required. A number of options to prevent HIV transmission are currently being investigated, including the role of vaginal microbicides, pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis, male circumcision, and - in the future - an HIV vaccine.'

'The results of the trial are striking', he adds. 'They show that valacyclovir significantly reduces the frequency and quantity of HIV detectable in genital secretions and, in addition, reduces the quantity of HIV in the plasma. As expected, there was also dramatic reduction in the detection of symptomatic and asymptomatic presence of HSV-2. The effects appeared to gradually increase over the 3 month follow-up period, with no sign of abating.' These results indicate a new way to possibly reduce the sexual transmission of HIV from already infected individuals to their partners, since the frequency and quantity of HIV in the female genital tract are closely related to the transmission of the virus.

The findings will need to be confirmed by further research, and there is already a large ongoing trial that is measuring direct transmission of HIV between discordant couples in several sites worldwide.

Dr Philippe Mayaud, one of Dr Nagot's colleagues at the LSHTM concludes: 'Our results have important potential implications for public health and clinical practice, as HSV-2 control could become a new form of HIV prevention targeting HIV-infected individuals, as well as providing clinical benefits. Importantly, an HSV vaccine that would either prevent HSV infection or diminish the clinical and sub-clinical manifestations of HSV with a similar efficacy on HIV as HSV suppressive therapy, would represent a long-lasting form of HIV prevention. The development and ev aluation of an HSV vaccine should rank high on the international research agenda.'

Gareth Thomas, UK Minister for International Development, whose department DFID has provided supplementary funding for the research, said: "These exciting initial findings demonstrate why research into reducing HIV/ AIDS transmission is such a vital element of the fight against the disease. The UK Government has pledged to spend £1.5 billion tackling HIV/AIDS in developing countries between 2005 and 2008. We will follow the next stages of this research with interest."


'"/>

Source:London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


Related biology news :

1. Protein discovery could unlock the secret to better TB treatment
2. Topical treatment shown to inhibit HIV and herpes simplex virus infection
3. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach for directing treatment to metastasized prostate cancer in the bones.
4. Researchers add new tool to tumor-treatment arsenal
5. Potential treatments for neurofibromatosis
6. Nanoparticles offer new hope for detection and treatment
7. Technique may allow cancer patients to freeze eggs, preserving fertility before starting treatment
8. PET/CT can identify new cancer lesions at early stage, allowing for prompt treatment
9. New understanding of DNA repair may pave way to cancer treatments
10. Multiple-drug resistant gene expression pattern predicts treatment outcome for pediatric leukemia
11. Newer imaging techniques may lead to over-treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/31/2016)... -- Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring under ... M.D., who returned to the company in October 2015. ... including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , Ph.D., ... Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael Kaiser ... Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 and ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... 23, 2016 ... Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler ... mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie ... die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... OTTAWA, Ontario , PROVO ... 2016 Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and ... process management technology respectively, today announced the launch of ... new next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing panel. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... PathSensors, Inc., a leading environmental testing ... will assist PathSensors in expanding the use of the company’s CANARY® technology in ... platform for the detection of harmful pathogens, including a number of bacteria, viruses, ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... MIAMI (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... a mutual endorsement of an Asia-Pacific Symposium as other research and development initiatives for ... of Santiago officials and top Global Stem Cells Group executives began meeting to establish ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Cameron Cushman ... an associate in the firm’s Intellectual Property practice group. , Clients turn to ... applications. He has an electrical engineering and computer engineering background, and experience in ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , ... April 26, 2016 , ... ... lithography systems, announces the latest technology innovation for its Volume Pattern Generator (VPG) ... demand for production of advanced photomasks as well as a solution for mid ...
Breaking Biology Technology: