A novel potential therapy for HSV.
ABSTRACT Two medications are licensed in the United States for the treatment of infection with genital herpes simplex virus (HSV): valacyclovir (approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1995) and famciclovir (approved in 1997). All studied and licensed drugs for HSV infections assessed to date are selective inhibitors of HSV DNA polymerase and act as analogues of nucleoside triphosphate.(1) The report by Wald and colleagues in this issue of the Journal(2) introduces two fundamentally new approaches to the study of medications for the treatment of genital herpes. One approach involves the application of daily quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) analysis to define ...
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ABSTRACT: To explore the mechanism by which herpes simplex virus (HSV)-2 infection is related to HIV-1 acquisition, we conducted in situ analysis of the cellular infiltrate from sequential biopsies of HSV-2 lesions from patients on and off antiviral therapy. CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and a mixed population of plasmacytoid and myeloid dendritic cells (DCs), including cells expressing the C-type lectin receptor DC-SIGN, persisted at sites of HSV-2 reactivation for months after healing, even with daily antiviral therapy. The CD4(+) T cells that persisted reacted to HSV-2 antigen, were enriched for expression of the chemokine receptor CCR5, and were contiguous to DCs expressing the interleukin-3 receptor CD123 or DC-SIGN. Ex vivo infection with a CCR5-tropic strain of HIV-1 revealed greater concentrations of integrated HIV-1 DNA in cells derived from healed genital lesion biopsies than in cells from control skin biopsies. The persistence and enrichment of HIV receptor-positive inflammatory cells in the genitalia help explain the inability of anti-HSV-2 therapy to reduce HIV acquisition.Nature medicine 09/2009; 15(8):886-92. DOI:10.1038/nm.2006 · 28.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Poor neurodevelopmental outcomes and recurrences of cutaneous lesions remain unacceptably frequent among survivors of neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) disease. We enrolled neonates with HSV disease in two parallel, identical, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. Neonates with central nervous system (CNS) involvement were enrolled in one study, and neonates with skin, eye, and mouth involvement only were enrolled in the other. After completing a regimen of 14 to 21 days of parenteral acyclovir, the infants were randomly assigned to immediate acyclovir suppression (300 mg per square meter of body-surface area per dose orally, three times daily for 6 months) or placebo. Cutaneous recurrences were treated with open-label episodic therapy. A total of 74 neonates were enrolled--45 with CNS involvement and 29 with skin, eye, and mouth disease. The Mental Development Index of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (in which scores range from 50 to 150, with a mean of 100 and with higher scores indicating better neurodevelopmental outcomes) was assessed in 28 of the 45 infants with CNS involvement (62%) at 12 months of age. After adjustment for covariates, infants with CNS involvement who had been randomly assigned to acyclovir suppression had significantly higher mean Bayley mental-development scores at 12 months than did infants randomly assigned to placebo (88.24 vs. 68.12, P=0.046). Overall, there was a trend toward more neutropenia in the acyclovir group than in the placebo group (P=0.09). Infants surviving neonatal HSV disease with CNS involvement had improved neurodevelopmental outcomes when they received suppressive therapy with oral acyclovir for 6 months. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; CASG 103 and CASG 104 ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00031460 and NCT00031447, respectively.).New England Journal of Medicine 10/2011; 365(14):1284-92. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa1003509 · 54.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Skin and mucosal herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) shedding predominantly occurs in short subclinical episodes. We assessed whether standard-dose or high-dose antiviral therapy reduces the frequency of such shedding. HSV-2-seropositive, HIV-seronegative people were enrolled at the University of Washington Virology Research Clinic (WA, USA). We did three separate but complementary open-label cross-over studies comparing no medication with aciclovir 400 mg twice daily (standard-dose aciclovir), valaciclovir 500 mg daily (standard-dose valaciclovir) with aciclovir 800 mg three times daily (high-dose aciclovir), and standard-dose valaciclovir with valaciclovir 1 g three times daily (high-dose valaciclovir). The allocation sequence was generated by a random number generator. Study drugs were supplied in identical, numbered, sealed boxes. Study periods lasted 4-7 weeks, separated by 1 week wash-out. Participants collected genital swabs four times daily for quantitative HSV DNA PCR. Clinical data were masked from laboratory personnel. The primary endpoint was within-person comparison of shedding rate in each study group. Analysis was per protocol. The trials are registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00362297, NCT00723229, NCT01346475). Of 113 participants randomised, 90 were eligible for analysis of the primary endpoint. Participants collected 23 605 swabs; 1272 (5·4%) were HSV-positive. The frequency of HSV shedding was significantly higher in the no medication group (n=384, 18·1% of swabs) than in the standard-dose aciclovir group (25, 1·2%; incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0·05, 95% CI 0·03-0·08). High-dose aciclovir was associated with less shedding than standard-dose valaciclovir (198 [4·2%] vs 209 [4·5%]; IRR 0·79, 95% CI 0·63-1·00). Shedding was less frequent in the high-dose valaciclovir group than in the standard-dose valaciclovir group (164 [3·3%] vs 292 [5·8%]; 0·54, 0·44-0·66). The number of episodes per person-year did not differ significantly for standard-dose valaciclovir (22·6) versus high-dose aciclovir (20·2; p=0·54), and standard-dose valaciclovir (14·9) versus high-dose valaciclovir (16·5; p=0·34), but did for no medication (28·7) and standard-dose aciclovir (10·0; p=0·001). Median episode duration was longer for no medication than for standard-dose aciclovir (13 h vs 7 h; p=0·01) and for standard-dose valaciclovir than for high-dose valaciclovir (10 h vs 7 h; p=0·03), but did not differ significantly between standard-dose valaciclovir and high-dose aciclovir (8 h vs 8 h; p=0·23). Likewise, maximum log(10) copies of HSV detected per mL was higher for no medication than for standard dose aciclovir (3·3 vs 2·9; p=0·02), and for standard-dose valaciclovir than for high-dose valaciclovir (2·5 vs 3·0; p=0·001), but no significant difference was recorded for standard-dose valaciclovir versus high-dose aciclovir (2·7 vs 2·8; p=0·66). 80% of episodes were subclinical in all study groups. Except for a higher frequency of headaches with high-dose valaciclovir (n=13, 30%) than with other regimens, all regimens were well tolerated. Short bursts of subclinical genital HSV reactivation are frequent, even during high-dose antiherpes therapy, and probably account for continued transmission of HSV during suppressive antiviral therapy. More potent antiviral therapy is needed to eliminate HSV transmission. NIH. Valaciclovir was provided for trial 3 for free by GlaxoSmithKline.The Lancet 02/2012; 379(9816):641-7. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61750-9 · 39.21 Impact Factor