Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Finds Herpes Virus In 98 Percent Of Healthy Participants

Date:
January 7, 2005
Source:
Louisiana State University Health Science Center
Summary:
A study led by Dr. Herbert Kaufman, Boyd Professor of Ophthalmology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, published in the January issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, found that 98% of the participants who are healthy individuals with no evidence of any symptoms did in fact shed herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1) DNA in their tears and saliva at least once during the course of the 30-day study.

A study led by Dr. Herbert Kaufman, Boyd Professor of Ophthalmology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, published in the January issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, found that 98% of the participants who are healthy individuals with no evidence of any symptoms did in fact shed herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1) DNA in their tears and saliva at least once during the course of the 30-day study. The study was undertaken to assess the frequency of shedding of HSV-1 DNA in tears and saliva of asymptomatic individuals.

While not the first, the researchers report that this study uses the most sensitive techniques in a cross-sectional assessment performed to date of the presence of HSV-1 DNA in the eyes and mouths of healthy individuals, in terms of population size and total samples collected.

HSV-1, and to a lesser extent, HSV-2 are known to be the leading causes of virus-induced blindness in the Western world, with approximately 500,000 individuals having herpetic eye disease in the United States. Humans are reservoirs for herpes viruses and shedding in infected individuals when they are asymptomatic is a major factor in the transmission of the virus.

The 50 participants, who were recruited from the general population, ranged in age from 19 to 71. Nineteen were male and 31 female. African-Americans comprised 78% of the participants. The participants were asked to provide a blood sample as well as samples from twice daily swabs of their eyes and mouths for 30 consecutive days. Samples were analyzed using methods including real-time PCR, the gold standard for HSV detection in clinical samples.

Shedding was intermittent, but overall, 49 participants (98%) shed HSV-1 DNA at least once during the study. Thirty-seven participants (74%) had positive blood test results. The percentages of positive results between the eye and mouth swabs were approximately equivalent, but one measure showed higher volume in saliva than in tears. Only one participant did not shed any HSV-1 DNA. Three participants shed HSV-1 DNA in their tears but not their saliva and two had only positive saliva swabs.

Population demographics play a fundamental role in the prevalence of HSV infections. Other documented significant predictors include age, stress, socioeconomic status, level of education, age of first intercourse and total years of sexual activity. Several studies have noted an increase in herpetic disease with increased age. This could be a result of repeated infection and/or reactivation of the primary HSV infection. Also, natural stress factors such as sunlight exposure may have been a contributing factor to HSV-1 DNA shedding. UV exposure is a known trigger to activate latent HSV.

"The fact that HSV-1 DNA was discovered in such a high percentage of healthy people in the general population tells us that the virus is everywhere and it's unavoidable," said Dr. Kaufman, who developed the first effective antiviral drug for herpes infections of the eye.

In addition to Dr. Kaufman, the research team included Drs. James Hill, Hilary Thompson, Gregory Sloop, as well as Emily Varnell and Ann Azcuy. They concluded that control of virus excretion could well limit transmission, especially of more virulent strains of virus. More important, if such a high proportion of adults excrete virus, the reduction and/or prevention of virus excretion may be a simple, cost-effective way to evaluate new antiviral drugs.

###

The research was supported in part by a grant by the National Eye Institute and by a Senior Scientific Investigator award from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Louisiana State University Health Science Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Louisiana State University Health Science Center. "Study Finds Herpes Virus In 98 Percent Of Healthy Participants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050106111129.htm>.
Louisiana State University Health Science Center. (2005, January 7). Study Finds Herpes Virus In 98 Percent Of Healthy Participants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050106111129.htm
Louisiana State University Health Science Center. "Study Finds Herpes Virus In 98 Percent Of Healthy Participants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050106111129.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins