Herpes simplex viruses (HSV) are ubiquitous, host-adapted pathogens that cause a wide variety of disease states. Two types exist: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). Both are closely related but differ in epidemiology. HSV-1 is traditionally associated with orofacial disease, while HSV-2 is traditionally associated with genital disease; however, lesion location is not necessarily indicative of viral type.

An overview of HSV

Herpesvirus is a kind of double-stranded DNA virus with envelope structure. It is widely found in nature and can infect humans and many animals. The virus mainly infects the host through skin, mucous membranes and nerve tissue to cause corresponding lesions. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a common pathogen that seriously harms human health, causes skin diseases and sexually transmitted diseases.

Major Types of HSV

HSV can be divided into two types, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both belong to the Herpesviridae family, Alphaherpesvirinae subfamily. HSV-1 mainly infects the skin and mucous membranes of the face, causing mouth phlegm, pharyngitis or tonsillitis, herpetic keratitis, herpes zoster eczema and herpetic encephalitis. HSV-2 mainly infects the skin and mucous membranes of the genital area, resulting in Genital herpes, one of the most important pathogens of sexually transmitted diseases. Epidemiological investigations in recent years have found that both HSV-1 and HSV-2 play an equally important role in the pathogen causing genital herpesvirus. Both herpes simplex viruses can cause long-term latent infections in the body after infection.

Inhibition of HSV

In the 1980s, Acyclovir (ACV) and related drugs were introduced into the treatment of HSV and achieved amazing results. The drugs for the treatment of HSV target viral DNA replication and there are three classes of drugs: acyclic guanosine analogues, acyclic nucleotide analogues, and pyrophosphate analogues, including typical drugs , and foscarnet. However, after long-term use, drug-resistant strains were selected making the drugs useless.

Therefore, researchers spare much effort to explore more strategies against drug-resistant HSV.The DNA helicase/primase complex may be a good target for herpes viral infection since it is common to all members of the herpes virus family.

HSV and diseases

HSV belongs to the herpesvirus family and is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus. Eight species of human herpesvirus have been found. Herpes virus mainly spreads through contact and invades tissues derived from ectoderm (including skin, mucous membranes and nerve tissue). The most common is HSV-1, which can be latent infection and can also be activated to cause skin herpes or genital herpes, conjunctivitis, keratitis, encephalitis or herpetic eczema. HSV-2 causes genital herpes mainly through damaged skin and mucous membrane infections. At present, the incidence of genital herpes is rapidly increasing and it is easy to relapse, which has caused great difficulties in the treatment and prevention of related diseases.


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