Worried that your partner has genital herpes? Well, a new approach to a herpes vaccine might rid you of any such troubles.
The vaccine fights the herpes simplex 2 virus (HSV2), which coexists with the humans it infects for long periods, only rarely causing bouts of sores, reports New Scientist.
AdvertisementThe vaccine achieves this feat by suppressing its host's immune system, and this has meant attempts to use the virus itself as a vaccine have failed.
Now researchers at BioVex in Woburn, Massachusetts, have produced a vaccine by deleting five of the virus's genes.
"We hope this will unmask the virus to the human immune system," said Robert Coffin, chief executive of BioVex.
The altered virus neither causes disease nor suppresses our immune system.
The researchers found that animals that had been injected with the altered virus did not develop symptoms when exposed to normal HSV2.
BioVex will now begin clinical trials of the vaccine in London.
Coffin said that a vaccine would initially be offered to the sexual partners of people who carry genital herpes, and wider vaccination may also be a possibility.