Herpes simplex virus vaccines

Published on June 30, 2015   60 min

Other Talks in the Series: Vaccines

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Hello, I'm Professor Lawrence Stanberry, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Columbia University in the city of New York, United States. I'm pleased to be with you today to speak on the topic of herpes simplex virus vaccines as part of the Henry Stewart Talks series.
In the first slide, we discuss the challenges to the development of a herpes simplex virus vaccine. First, the audience needs to be aware of the fact that there are two herpes simplex viruses, HSV type 1 and HSV type 2. These viruses commonly infect mucosal surfaces such as the skin, but they also spread into nervous tissue, and the disease pathogenesis largely involves skin and nervous tissue. Viremia, that is, the spread of virus in the bloodstream, is not an important element in the pathogenesis in an immuno-competent host, that's an individual whose immune system is intact. Infection due to herpes simplex results in a lifelong infection. The initial infection may be asymptomatic or clinically apparent. Recurrent infections are exceedingly common, sometimes symptomatic, sometimes asymptomatic. And they occur despite the fact host has made a full complement of immune responses. So one of the biggest challenges to developing an effective herpes vaccine is the recognition that natural infection does not result in lifelong immunity protecting against recurrent disease, raising the question of how do we improve upon immunity that does result from infection.