Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How and why herpes viruses reactivate to cause disease

Date:
October 31, 2012
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
The word "herpes" conjures negative stereotypes, but most people are infected with some form of the virus. After a flare-up, the virus usually remains latent until the right circumstances to return. Now, research sheds some light on what triggers the virus to reactivate. It shows that the immune system may actually lose control over the virus when facing new microbial threats, such as fending off other viruses or bacteria.

The mere mention of the word "herpes" usually conjures negative images and stereotypes, but most people have been infected with some form of the virus. For most, a sore appears, heals and is forgotten, although the virus remains latent just waiting for the right circumstances to come back. Now, the mystery behind what triggers the virus to become active again is closer to being solved thanks to new research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology's November 2012 issue.

In the report, scientists show how the immune system may lose its control over the virus when facing new microbial threats, such as when it must fend off other viral invaders or bacteria.

"Because almost all people are infected by one or more herpes family viruses during their lifetime, the potential impact of these findings are significant," said Charles H. Cook, M.D., FACS, FCCM, director of surgical critical care at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, Ohio, and a researcher involved in the work. "We hope that by understanding how these latent viral infections are controlled that we can prevent reactivation events and improve people's lives."

To make this discovery, researchers studied mice with latent herpes family cytomegalovirus (CMV) during severe bacterial infections. They found that T-cells responsible for CMV control were reduced significantly during a new infection with bacteria. This, in effect, reduced the "brakes" which kept the virus under control, allowing the virus to reactivate and cause disease. When the immune system eventually sensed the reactivation, the memory T-cell levels returned to normal, effectively restoring the body's control over the virus.

"Finding ways to control herpes flare ups is important, not only for the health of the person with the virus, but also for preventing its transmission," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "This report highlights the important interplay when we are 'co-infected' with more than one microbe and provides important insights into why the immune system sometimes fails as well as how it can regain control of latent herpes virus infections."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Campbell, J. Trgovcich, M. Kincaid, P. D. Zimmerman, P. Klenerman, S. Sims, C. H. Cook. Transient CD8-memory contraction: a potential contributor to latent cytomegalovirus reactivation. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 2012; 92 (5): 933 DOI: 10.1189/jlb.1211635

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "How and why herpes viruses reactivate to cause disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031125516.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2012, October 31). How and why herpes viruses reactivate to cause disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031125516.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "How and why herpes viruses reactivate to cause disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031125516.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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