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Herpes, not quite so species specific after all
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A new study challenges the tenet of herpes viruses being strictly host-specific. Scientists have discovered that gammaherpesviruses switch their hosts more frequently than previously thought. In fact, bats and primates appear to be responsible for the transfer of these viruses to other mammals in many cases.

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Targeting the host to get rid of unwanted guests
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A new approach has been developed to combat diseases caused by herpesvirus infections, including everything from cold sores to cancer.

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Research provides clues to how Zika virus breaches the placental barrier
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New research reveals that in pregnant women, Zika virus infection damages certain cells that affect placental formation and function. Furthermore, herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) infection augments placental sensitivity to Zika virus by enhancing the expression of receptors that allow Zika virus to enter cells.

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New mouse model of Zika sexual transmission shows spread to fetal brain
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The Zika virus, commonly transmitted through a bite from an infected mosquito, is also capable of leaping from person to person through sexual transmission. However, the mechanisms Zika uses to invade the body from the genitals, and the havoc it may wreak from there, are unclear. To better understand the process, a group of researchers […]

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Researchers find herpes strain in the nervous system
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There are a couple strains of herpes so common that researchers estimate 90% of the human population have them. These strains, human herpes 6 and human herpes 7, usually do not cause severe symptoms when people acquire them. But researchers know that under certain circumstances, dormant herpes viruses in the body can unexpectedly come roaring […]

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Time of day influences our susceptibility to infection, study finds
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We are more susceptible to infection at certain times of the day as our body clock affects the ability of viruses to replicate and spread between cells, suggests new research. The findings may help explain why shift workers, whose body clocks are routinely disrupted, are more prone to health problems, including infections and chronic disease.

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Obscure virus found in women with unexplained infertility
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The little-known member of the human herpesvirus family called HHV-6A infects the lining of the uterus in 43 percent of women with unexplained infertility but cannot be found in that of fertile women, researchers have discovered. The study also reported that the infection is exacerbated by hormone estradiol. Estradiol fluctuates with the menstrual cycle. High […]

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Towards a cure for herpesviruses: Targeting infection with CRISPR/Cas9
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Most adults carry multiple herpesviruses. Following the initial acute infection, these viruses establish life-long infections in their hosts and cause cold sores, keratitis, genital herpes, shingles, infectious mononucleosis, and other diseases. A new study suggests that attacking herpesvirus DNA with CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology can suppress virus replication and, in some cases, lead to elimination […]

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Zika virus identified in brain, placenta tissue, strengthening link to birth defects
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Zika virus has been detected in the brain tissue of a deceased two-month-old baby in Brazil who was diagnosed with microcephaly, in the brain tissue of two newborns who died shortly after birth, and in the placenta tissue of two fetuses that were spontaneously aborted, new research reveals.

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A novel therapy for genital herpes engages immune cells to provide significant patient benefits
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A phase II clinical trial demonstrated that a new type of treatment for genital herpes, an immunotherapy called GEN-003, may reduce the activity of the virus and the number of days with recurrent herpes. This effect of treatment, given by a series of three injections, appears to last for up to at least one year.

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