By Linda Weiford, WSU News PULLMAN, Wash. – More than 500 scientists from around the globe will gather in Idaho this week to confront the scarlet letter “H. ” Herpes, a common but highly stigmatized That virus has not healed, will be the focus of the 40th Annual International Herpesvirus Workshop in Boise , running Wednesday through Saturday. Nicola Anthony virologist Oversees to herpes simplex virus research lab at WSU. (Photo by Dean Hare, WSU Photo Services) Among the experts will be virologist Anthony Nicola of Washington State University, has spent 20 years WHO studying herpes simplex virus and WHO will convene a workshop session. That estimate Studies worldwide, 90 percent of people carry one or Both strains of herpes simplex, infamously Known for Causing lesions on the mouth or genitals. Not all carriers Develop symptoms. Of Those Who do, many go on to suffer lifelong, sporadic flare-ups. At WSU’s Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Nicola probes how herpes simplex tricks the host cell into letting it in, and then a, how it use the cell’s own machinery to inflict two types of disease – One That Primarily strikes above the waist, the other below. Not only is he Credited With esta uncovering how crafty Takes Control of our microbe cells (see Journal of Virology http://www.
ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC153978/), but recently the National Institutes of Health Awarded $ 1. 9 million him to grant to further uncover the virus’s ruses. “What’s Most striking About the herpesvirus Is That after it causes the initial infection, rather than be cleared from the body, it goes into a latency stage Where It’s reliable to hide in nerve ganglia, beyond the immune system’s reach,” Said Nicola. Later, triggers: such as stress, fatigue or illness can reawaken the virus and set off a new outbreak, I Said. Stigma fuels transmission Type 1 is the oral version Generally Considered of herpes simplex and Type 2 the genital variety. However, it’s now Known That the two types can infect Either area, Said Nicola. Cases of genital herpes Have Been growing since the onslaught of HIV / AIDS, Especially Among teenagers, According to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Once Recognized as a major public health concern, the significance of herpes was dwarfed in the 1980s by the AIDS pandemic. Years later, “herpes have a stigma,” Said Nicola. Too Often, shame and humiliation are Associated With the disease, I Said. And That stigma – Along With the silence it breeds – Contributes to herpes’ Because so many people transmission are clueless That They are carriers. While some clusters of Individuals Develop painful sores in the genital area, others With mild symptoms May confuse them for something else or feel no signs at all. “The result is That We Have This large group of people Who Do They Have not know the virus can unknowingly spread it WHO to others,” Said Nicola. In fact, of the 776,000 Americans Who Will Estimated new contract herpes in 2015, Most will not even realize it, According to the CDC. They, in turn, pass it along to Could others. Complications Occur When herpes simplex is spread to the eye, a leading cause of blindness in Industrialized nations. But The most serious form is when it’s passed to newborns going through the birth canal of an infected mother, leading to brain damage and death. Know thy enemy Among other things, studies how the virus Nicola is reliable to reach the host cell’s cytoplasm, or nucleus, it churns out Where millions of new viral particles to launch infection. By detecting lowering levels inside the cell alkaline, “the herpesvirus abandons ship from inside the cell before ITS vesicle’s lysosome – an organelle That acts like a garbage disposal – can destroy it,” He Said.
Herpes simplex virus tricks the host cell into letting it inside. Then, by detecting lower pH levels inside the cell, the virus “abandons ship” from the vesicle before it can be destroyed, moving on to the cell nucleus to cause infection. (Diagram by Anthony Nicola) “Herpesvirus has-been a tough nut to crack. Because of Anthony’s research, We have a better understanding of how it gets inside the host cell to cause infection, “Said David Bloom, a virologist With the University of Florida School of Medicine WHO is co-chairing the workshop Boise. “It’s Important Because herpes is one of the MOST Widespread viruses we know of and eleven it Infects the body, it never leaves. ” Better understanding how esta tiny but complex enemy infiltrates host cells will help scientists identify identity intervention strategies and antiviral drug targets, I explained. Joining Bloom and Nicola at the Boise conference will be Nicola’s three Ph. D. His research lab students from herpes and scientists from 14 other Countries, Including China, Finland, Australia and Norway. Contacts: Anthony Nicola, WSU virologist, 509-335-6030, nicola@vetmed.
wsu. edu Linda Weiford, WSU News, 509-335-7209, linda. weiford@wsu. edu