Nanoparticles hold promise as double-edged sword against genital herpes

Nanoparticles hold promise as double-edged sword against genital herpes

Genital Herpes Pictures – Genital Herpes Symptoms – Sep 12, 2013 … An outbreak of genital herpes is characterized by several blisters that break open and become painful sores. The C3HC4 zinc RING finger of bICP0 is crucial for activating viral transcription and productive infection. There is also good, though still insufficient, research supporting the use of zinc in acne, ADHD, herpes simplex virus, immune function, sickle cell anemia and Wilson’s disease. Subjects treated with the zinc oxide/glycine cream also experienced reduction in overall severity of signs and symptoms, particularly blistering, soreness, itching, and tingling. “It is a totally novel approach to developing a vaccine against herpes, and it could potentially also work for HIV and other viruses,” he said. The particles could serve as a powerful active ingredient in a topically-applied vaginal cream that provides immediate protection against herpes virus infection while simultaneously helping stimulate immunity to the virus for long-term protection, explained Shukla. The 51g mutant virus, but not the 51gR virus, grew poorly in bovine cells pretreated with imiquimod to stimulate interferon production.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 15 percent of people from ages 14-49 carry HSV-2, which can hide out for long periods of time in the nervous system. The genital lesions caused by the virus increase the risk for acquiring human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. “Your chances of getting HIV are three to four times higher if you already have genital herpes, which is a very strong motivation for developing new ways of preventing herpes infection,” Shukla said. Treatments for HSV-2 include daily topical medications to suppress the virus and shorten the duration of outbreaks, when the virus is active and genital lesions are present. Infection of cattle with bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) can cause conjunctivitis, pneumonia, genital disorders, abortions, and an upper respiratory infection known as bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC), or “shipping fever” (67). Efforts to develop a vaccine have been unsuccessful because the virus does not spend much time in the bloodstream, where most traditional vaccines do their work. The tetrapod-shaped zinc-oxide nanoparticles, called ZOTEN, have negatively charged surfaces that attract the HSV-2 virus, which has positively charged proteins on its outer envelope.
Nanoparticles hold promise as double-edged sword against genital herpes

ZOTEN nanoparticles were synthesized using technology developed by material scientists at Germany’s Kiel University and protected under a joint patent with UIC. When bound to the nanoparticles, HSV-2 cannot infect cells. Modified live vaccines are available, and in general they prevent clinical disease in adults. The dendritic cells “present” the virus to other immune cells that produce antibodies. The antibodies cripple the virus and trigger the production of customized killer cells that identify infected cells and destroy them before the virus can take over and spread. The researchers showed that female mice swabbed with HSV-2 and an ointment containing ZOTEN had significantly fewer genital lesions than mice treated with a cream lacking ZOTEN. Mice treated with ZOTEN also had less inflammation in the central nervous system, where the virus can hide out.

Viral gene expression is temporally regulated in three distinct phases during productive infection: immediate early (IE), early (E), and late (L) (36, 37). “It’s very clear that ZOTEN facilitates the development of immunity by holding the virus and letting the dendritic cells get to it,” Shukla said. If found safe and effective in humans, a ZOTEN-containing cream ideally would be applied vaginally just prior to intercourse, Shukla said. But if a woman who had been using it regularly missed an application, he said, she may have already developed some immunity and still have some protection. Shukla hopes to further develop the nanoparticles to work against HIV, which like HSV-2 also has positively charged proteins embedded in its outer envelope. IE proteins activate E gene expression, and viral DNA replication occurs. The novel flame transport synthesis technology used to make them allows large-scale production, said Rainer Adelung, professor of nanomaterials at Kiel University.

And, because no chemicals are used, the production process is green. Adelung hopes to begin commercial production of ZOTEN through a startup company that will be run jointly with his colleagues at UIC.

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