New herpes vaccine outperforms others

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 3, 2005

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A newly developed herpes vaccine capable of fighting the virus that causes the most cases of genital herpes appears to be a strong candidate for testing in humans, according to a study in the January issue of Journal of Virology.

The study compared three different experimental vaccines for herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) and found that a vaccine called dl5-29, developed by Harvard Medical School Professor of Microbiology David Knipe, PhD, outperformed the other two, one of which has already been tested in humans.

The study's lead author, Stephen E. Straus, MD, senior investigator at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said the results of his study argue strongly for taking dl5-29 into human trials.

Dr. Straus and his colleagues found that dl5-29 performed as well as or better than the other two candidates. It was as effective as the glycoprotein vaccine previously tested in humans in preventing acute and recurrent disease in guinea pigs and, when given to previously infected guinea pigs, dl5-29 reduced the rate of recurrent infections slightly better than the other candidates. A key finding was that dl5-29 induced a substantially stronger T-cell response than did either of the two other vaccines.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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