Senin, 22 November 2010

Genital Herpes Vaccine Fails

An experimental vaccine designed to protect against herpes simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2) has failed completely in clinical trials, according to a news article in Science. HSV-2, also known as genital herpes, is transmitted via sexual contact. It causes painful blisters that may recur at various times in life after initial infection (see Figure 16.17 in Johnson’s Human Biology, 5th ed.). Approximately half a million people worldwide currently are infected with genital herpes.

At the moment there is no known cure for HSV-2 infection, and other than the vaccine that just failed there was no major effort directed at finding one. Genital herpes is considered to be a rather trivial disease by pharmaceutical companies because although it can cause irritating and painful blisters, it is not particularly dangerous. Given the negative result from this vaccine and several others tried before it, there may not be much of an effort put into finding a cure in the near future. We may just have to live with genital herpes for a while longer.

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