New drug combo may help treat herpes, cold sore

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In a new study, researchers have found a drug combination that may improve treatment for diseases caused by herpes simplex viruses such as cold sore, genital herpes, and keratitis.

They tested different drugs and found that drugs used to treat heartburn improve the effectiveness of the anti-viral acyclovir, the most commonly used drug for herpes simplex virus-associated diseases.

The research was conducted by a team from the University of Kent.

Whilst cold sore and genital herpes is associated with strong discomfort, herpes simplex keratitis is a major cause of blindness in developed countries.

For individuals with a suppressed immune system, herpes simplex viruses cause life-threatening conditions.

In the study, the researchers tested heartburn treatment drugs with the anti-viral drug acyclovir.

When these drugs were combined, they strongly decreased viral spreading throughout cells. Out of heartburn drugs used, omeprazole showed the greatest effect.

The team says combining these two drugs could vastly improve the broader treatment of herpes simplex virus.

The importance of the effect of this research reaches from the minor to the life-saving and they look forward to seeing where this next leads.

The lead author of the study is Professor Martin Michaelis (School of Biosciences, University of Kent).

The study is published in Frontiers in Microbiology.

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