It is widely known that genital herpes caused due to reactivation of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) seems to be usually treated as a lesion in one particular region of the genital area. A new study from University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle claims that, nevertheless, virus may often reactivate via the genital tract, a significant novel idea that may aid in steering both HSV-2 treatment as well as prevention.
The study gathered everyday samples in a 30-day duration from seven separate genital places in about four women contaminated with HSV-2. HSV-2 appeared to be diagnosed from over anatomic spot on around 56 percent of days when there seemed to be viral shedding and on genital surfaces on both sides of the subjects’ bodies on majority of the days when virus was apparently identified in more than one place.
By means of a thorough sampling technique and a responsive examination, the authors exhibited that both symptomatic and asymptomatic HSV-2 reactivations apparently frequently took place at extensively spaced areas all through the genital tract. These reactivations seemed to be recurrent on both sides of the body, albeit clinical lesions usually originate from one anatomic spot. The study’s results appear to demonstrate a vital novel idea in HSV-2 pathogenesis. This could assist in developing inclusive treatment that both represses and confines the spread of HSV-2 infection.
The study was headed by Christine Johnston, MD, MPH, and colleagues at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
The authors also observed drawbacks of their study, counting a minute sample size and the exclusive attributes of the study’s participants. For instance, every subject is said to have had a past record of symptomatic genital herpes, and three of the four supposedly contracted HSV-2 infection in the last one year, thereby augmenting the odds of elevated viral reactivation and lesion rates. Moreover, even though there were high quantities of days with lesions in the study duration, around two of the subjects who lately acquired genital herpes appeared to have added the bulk of lesion days.
Edward W. Hook III, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, mentioned, “The study’s findings are of great potential importance, as they further challenge widely held beliefs regarding genital herpes and, by extension, its management.”
Dr. Hooks mentioned that from a personal and public health perspective, the biology of the infection suggests that a national campaign for serological testing of those at risk would provide the foundation for more effective efforts to control HSV transmission to others, and that for most sexually active persons with HSV-2 whose sex partners are not known to also be infected, suppressive therapy should be the preferred approach.
The study was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.