Possible target found in herpes fight

March 27, 2009 1:55:50 PM PDT
Scientists say they have identified a potential new target in the ongoing quest for a treatment and possibly a cure for herpes. A viral protein known as VP-16 is apparently responsible for pushing herpes out of its latent state and back into an active infectious state.

Herpes is transmitted by close person to person contact.

This study in the March issue of PLoS Pathogens looks specifically at herpes simplex 1 which can cause cold sores and genital lesions. They say the discovery of VP-16 could be the first step in better treatments.

Herpes is considered an epidemic and scientists have long been mystified by what causes it to go from the latent stage and become infectious again.