A new way for treating the human herpes viruses was recently discovered by researchers at Lund University in Sweden. The treatment involves therapeutic proteins permeating the protein shell of the herpes virus and preventing its genes from leaving and wreaking havoc.
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"We have a new and unique approach to studying viruses based on their specific physical properties. Our discovery marks a breakthrough in the development of antiviral drugs as it does not target specific viral proteins that can rapidly mutate, causing the development of drug resistance -- something that remains unresolved by current antiviral drugs against herpes and other viruses. We hope that our research will contribute to the fight against viral infections that have so far been incurable," says Alex Evilevitch, Associate Professor and senior lecturer at Lund University.
Findings are published in the journal PLOS Pathogens and describes the thin protein shell of the virus enclosing its genome.
"The pressure is 20 atmospheres, which is four times higher than in a champagne bottle and this allows herpes viruses to infect a cell by ejecting its genes at high speed into the cell nucleus after the virus has entered the cell. The cell is then tricked into becoming a small virus factory that produces new viruses that can infect and kill other cells in the tissue, leading to different disease states," explains Alex Evilevitch.
Source: Science Daily