Oral and genital herpes are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), which both cause lifelong infection. HSV-2 infection is associated with increased risk for HIV infection. HSV2-infected women pose a risk of transmitting this dangerous infection to newborn babies; therefore, avoiding herpes infection during pregnancy is very important.
In this issue of JCI Insight, researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine report a promising vaccine strategy for immunizing against both HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections. Led by Betsy Herold and William Jacobs Jr., the researchers expanded upon previous work from their group indicating that a vaccine made from an engineered HSV-2 virus that lacks expression of glycoprotein D could protect against infection with a single strain of HSV-2 in mice.
The current report shows that vaccination protects mice from multiple clinical isolates of HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection. Mice rapidly cleared virus after infection and did not develop long-term latent infections. These studies provide exciting preclinical support for a new vaccine strategy to prevent infection by herpes viruses.
Article: HSV-2 gD elicits FcγR-effector antibodies that protect against clinical isolates, Christopher D. Petro, Brian Weinrick, Nazanin Khajoueinejad, Clare Burn, Rani Sellers, William R. Jacobs Jr, and Betsy C. Herold, JCI Insight, doi:10.1172/jci.insight.88529, published 4 August 2016.