UGA Logo Adult shingles, a painful, blistering skin rash may be caused by the varicella-zoster virus or VZV that is known to result in chickenpox as well. Scientists from the University of Georgia and Yale University have now laid hands on a compound that can effectively wage war against shingles that mostly affects the elderly population. This new anti-shingles agent called L-BHDA presumably has major implications in the medical zone.

Experts have created an extensive portfolio of antiviral compounds that target diseases such as HIV, shingles, hepatitis and cancers. Though, there are generic antiviral drugs to reduce the duration and pain of shingles, most of them appear only moderately effective. L-BHDA is apparently capable of being more effective than existing agents. The efficacy of this unique compound has been tested in the laboratory and demonstrated within mice models.

It was noted that the need for medications with increased potency and specificity that can tackle VZV is elevating. Hence, Medicinal chemist Chung (David) Chu, Distinguished Research Professor of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences at UGA, one of the inventors of L-BHDA and colleagues mention that the novel compound can serve as a more directed treatment for shingles. Those treated with L-BHDA possibly get well sooner and feel less pain with lower chances of developing complications later on.

The research is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.