Single Drug to be Awaited for treating Herpesvirus


Infection through herpes simplex virus (generally termed as herpes) could be either due to HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus type – 1) and HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus type – 2). The former one spreads through oral contact, better known as oral herpes. Oral-genital contact can also result in infection around or in genital area. Genital-to-genital contact results in HSV-2.

Coming to treatment, one of the discoveries by researchers at the American Society for Microbiology states that new-fangled drugs that have been developed are effective against every human herpesvirus. mBio published this discovery.

Something more about Herpesvirus

Majority of people infected with herpes have burning blisters on lip. Though herpesviruses are a well-known thing, very few are aware that herpesviruses comprise a family of 9, inclusive of CMV (cytomegalovirus). Those having weak immunity are at a greater risk of getting infected by cytomegalovirus, and not to forget the ones who have undergone chemotherapy or any kind of transplantation.

Enzymes Identified

Professor and researcher Dr. Sandra K. Weller at the University at the Connecticut School of Medicine did identify certain enzymes in herpesvirus that need magnesium for multiplication. The further course of study states that 2 active substances termed as “AK-166” and “AK-157”from 8-hydroxyquinolones group, which are used as disinfectants do have robust antiviral activity when it comes to checking herpesviruses. These active ingredients seem to attack enzymes mentioned above, thereby inhibiting their proliferation.

Active Ingredients

The current scenario is such that new arenas are being explored regarding development of more active ingredients against all 9 types of herpesviruses. Furthermore, efforts are being put in to devise single drug for mitigating re-activation of every type of herpesvirus.

The ongoing research harps on targeting TMID (two0metal-ion-dependent) viral enzymes. The compounds targeting these enzymes include influenza endoribonuclease and HIV integrase. The development pertains to clinical use at the moment but molecular targets of antiviral activities yet need to be identified.

A-157 has also displayed HSV polymerase’s catalytic activity. It, in turn, does make way for potentially developing dual-targeting agents for the same, i.e. herpesviruses.

Overall it’s a Wait and Watch Affair

In a nutshell, the discoveries that are being floored regarding the ways to combat herpesviruses are at an intermediate stage. The next few years will be there to witness several levels of turbulence on this count. The ailment does persist, but the researchers persistence of tolerance is more to be tested for. Utmost patience will ultimately pay off.

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