Herpes is an extremely common virus infection able to cause a recurrent skin infection that can appear in its different types as small blisters on the genitals or as cold sores on the mouth. It may also appear on other areas of the body, such as the thighs, buttocks, or anal area. People most often remain totally unaware that they have this infection. It is poorly understood by many people and further sensationalized by the media.
Now, let’s learn something about Herpes virus. What is it? Diseases caused by HHV, how to cure it and the way of avoid.
The Herpes virus family includes 8 different enveloped DNA-containing viruses that only affect human beings. The viruses are known by numbers as human herpes virus 1 through 8. Human herpes virus 1 (HHV1) is also known as herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1). It is typically the cause of cold sores around the mouth. Human herpes virus 2 (HHV2) is also called herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2). It typically causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection. Human herpes virus 3 (HHV3) is also called varicella-zoster virus.. Human herpes virus 4 (HHV4) is also known as the Epstein-Barr virus. It is the major cause of infectious mononucleosis, or “mono” – the “kissing disease.” Human herpes virus 5 (HHV5) is the official name of cytomegalovirus (CMV). Human herpes virus 6 (HHV6) is a recently observed agent found in the blood cells of a few patients with a variety of diseases. Human herpes virus 7 (HHV7) is even more recently observed and is closely related to HHV6. HHV7 can also cause roseola. Human herpes virus 8 (HHV8) was recently discovered in the tumours called Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS). These tumours are found in people with AIDS and are otherwise very rare.
HHV can lead to infection in the all area of our body. For example, HSV-2 can cause genital herpes CMV is a cause of mononucleosis. HHV3 causes chickenpox and Human herpes virus 6 causes Herpes zoster. The major complication of these illness is condition known as postherpetic neuralgia. The pain is severe and can last for a long time after the shingles rash clears.
Actually, besides these common diseases, Herpes virus can inflict pelvic inflammatory diseade and even get serious illness such as herpes zoster encephalitis; herpes zoster myelitis and varicella-herpes zoster pneumonia. So, if you infect with HHV, you’d better get some advice from doctor.
Genital herpes cannot be cured, but it can be treated. Antiviral medications are available to help reduce the symptoms of genital herpes and decrease the number of recurrences. Active compounds currently available for the treatment of herpesvirus infections include the nucleoside analogues acyclovir, penciclovir, vidarabine, and ganciclovir; the acyclic nucleoside phosphonate derivative cidofovir and so on.
Mechanism of action of nucleoside analogues. Cellular uptake of nucleoside analogues is an active process involving concentrative nucleoside transporters (CNTs) and equilibrative nucleoside transporters (ENTs). Once inside the cell, the nucleoside analogue undergoes an initial rate-limiting phosphorylation step by a nucleoside kinase, which leads to the production of a monophosphate metabolite. A second phosphorylation step is then performed by nucleoside monophosphate kinase,and the third phosphorylation step is performed by nucleoside diphosphate kinase. Triphosphates can be incorporated in nucleic acids, in competition with their normal counterparts, or they can inhibit nucleic acid synthesis by inhibiting essential enzymes such as polymerases. Ribonucleotide reductase M1 (RRM1), a key enzyme involved in nucleotide metabolism, can be inhibited both by diphosphorylated and triphosphorylated analogues. Catabolic enzymes may reduce the amount of active metabolites, including deaminases and 5’‑nucleotidases.
By the way, the most famous nucleoside analogues, acyclovir, discovered in 1977 by Dr. Gertrude Elion is still the gold standard of treatment of HSV-1 and HSV-2. And Dr. Gertrude Elion got the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1988 because of the great contribution to the human health career. Dr. Gertrude Elion have not been gotten any degree and worked as an assistant in the laboratory, but she still become an excellent scientist.
In addition to medication, we can take other measures to prevent.Consider Taking The Shingles Vaccine. There is a vaccine available for shingles but it is only an option for people who are 50 years and older. Avoid Contact Contagious People. Chickenpox, making direct contact with the shingles rash can increase your risk of contracting chickenpox if you were not immunized against it earlier in life, or if you did not take the vaccine.Try To Keep Your Immunity Up. Shingles is often associated with a weakened immune system. Healthy food and sports can be helpful. Manage Your Stress Levels. Lifestyle stress has a direct impact on your immune system. It involves both physical and psychological stress.
More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50-or 67% of the population – are infected with HSV-1, according to WHO’s first global estimates of HSV-1 infection published on the journal PLOS ONE. And 417 million people aged 15-49 years have HSV-2 infection, which causes genital herpes. Taken together, the estimates reveal that over half a billion people between the ages of 15-49 years have genital infection caused by either HSV-1 or HSV-2.
Psychosocial impact. Recurrent symptoms of genital herpes may be painful and the infection can lead to social stigma and psychological distress. These factors can have an important impact on quality of life and sexual relationships. However, in time, most people with herpes adjust to living with the infection. “Access to education and information on all types of herpes and sexually transmitted infections is critical to protect young people’s health before they become sexually active,” says Dr Marleen Temmerman, Director of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research. So, it’s still a long way to overcome this worldwide problem.