Sunday, December 3, 2023

Can The Shingles Vaccine Help With Genital Herpes

Who Should Get The Shingles Vaccine

Shingles vaccine for herpes zoster virus, varicella zoster – A State of Sight #98

The CDC recommends that all healthy adults 50 and older get Shingrix, even if youve had shingles in the past, arent sure if you ever had chickenpox, or have already had the older Zostavax shingles vaccine . Even if youve had the chickenpox vaccine, the CDC still recommends that you get the shingles vaccine .

Primary And Secondary Immune Responses To Hsv

Innate Immune Response

The innate immune system consists of a variety of components including neutrophils, natural killer cells, monocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, and the complement cascade . It is the first line of defense against pathogens. A strong innate immune response to foreign antigens is essential to the development of the adaptive humoral and cellular responses of long-lasting immunity . Adjuvants are added to subunit vaccines to elicit an innate response for this purpose. Pattern recognition receptors on host cells allow for the detection and response to viral infections. On binding to pattern recognition receptors , signal transduction leads to the production of various proteins including interferons . Interferons are glycoprotein signaling molecules produced by infected cell lines. They act locally, priming viral defense mechanisms within local cells .

HSV-1 is known to have multiple ligands that bind TLRs, leading to activation of the NF-kB pathway . However, herpes simplex virus is also known to evade the innate immune responses, specifically TLR signaling and interferon production to further viral proliferation . Additionally, a critical aspect of the innate immune system that contributes to the adaptive response is antigen presentation. HSV infection can stimulate autophagy, leading to a more efficient presentation of antigens. However, HSV-1 ICP34.5 gene product antagonizes the response by binding Beclin 1 , essential to autophagy .

Herpes Vaccines For 2022

Developing protective herpes simplex virus vaccines has been an ongoing challenge for decades. Various herpes vaccine candidates are based on DNA, modified mRNA, protein subunit, killed virus, and attenuated live virus vaccine technologies.

The herpes simplex virus exists as two biologically distinct serotypes, HSV-1 and HSV-2, which differ mainly by their transmission mode, says the U.S. CDC.

As of September 4, 2022, the U.S. FDA, Europe, Canada, India, the U.K., and the WHO had not Authorized or Approved any herpes prevention vaccine.

However, there are various clinical trials actively recruiting participants.

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Approach To Herpes Simplex Virus Therapy

Nucleoside analogs, including acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir, remain standard therapies for mucocutaneous and visceral HSV infection. Idoxuridine, trifluorothymidine, vidarabine, and cidofovir are used topically for ocular HSV infections .

Development of HSV resistance to acyclovir and valacyclovir is rare despite extensive use for treatment of infection . Increased prevalence is seen in patients with herpetic keratitis . Antiviral resistance is increased in immunocompromised patients, specifically patients with HIV infections and bone marrow transplants . IV Foscarnet and cidofovir are usually effective for acyclovir resistant viral strains . Continued exposure to cidofovir does not easily induce resistance. However, there have been case reports of cidofovir-resistant HSV and CMV .

Is Chickenpox And Shingles A Form Of Herpes

Herpes Zoster

Though shingles and herpes are two distinct conditions caused by two distinct viruses, the viruses are both members of a family formally known as herpesviridae. The herpes simplex virus takes its formal name from this umbrella term, while the varicella-zoster virus does not.

Although it is a condition unrelated to herpes, shingles is sometimes referred to as herpes zoster, a nickname that references the shared family of the viruses that cause them. Within this viral family, only the herpes simplex virus causes the condition we know today as herpes.

If you are ever unsure whether your doctor is referring to herpes simplex or shingles when you hear the word herpes, ask for clarification.

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Is There More Than One Shingles Vaccine

Yes. Along with Shingrix, there is an older shingles vaccine called Zostavax. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer recommends Zostavax, and its no longer available in the U.S. . Thats partly because studies have found that Shingrix lasts longer and is more effective at lowering your risk of shingles .

Improving Our Immune Response To Control Herpes

T cells embedded in tissues where latent HSV-2 hides are known to play a role in controlling the virus. Hutch scientists are also exploring how B cells, the antibody-making factories of the immune system, also work to keep the virus in check. Hutch researchers hope to build on this understanding to develop immunotherapies to control reactivation, reduce transmission to sexual partners, and design vaccines to prevent infection.

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New Approach Uses Mrna

Early efforts to produce a protein-based vaccine for herpes failed. But a new mRNA approach has outperformed the efficacy of the past vaccines in preclinical trials and is expected to be introduced in clinical trials in the second half of 2022, investigators say. This new approach for a prophylactic genital herpes vaccine showed great promise in early studies.1

Research into the mRNA herpes vaccine began long before the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines were developed, says Harvey M. Friedman, MD, professor of medicine/infectious diseases at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

Were pretty far along in the research, he says. We are using the mRNA technology in a vaccine effort for preventing genital herpes. Its not, at this point, intended for a treatment.

The vaccine, which was studied in mice and guinea pigs, showed exceptionally good prevention. Were hopeful it will make it into humans this year, Friedman says. Sometime in the summer of 2022 is our target.

This vaccine is good news for everyone at risk of STIs. More than one out of 10 Americans, age 49 years and younger, are infected with genital herpes, says Sita Awasthi, PhD, associate research professor in the infectious disease division at Perelman School of Medicine.

The vaccine also might help reduce HIV infection, since herpes greatly increases a persons risk of contracting HIV, Awasthi says.

How Effective Is The Shingles Vaccine

It Might Be Good to Have Herpes | Trained Immunity

Very. Research has found that in people older than age 50, Shingrix reduces the risk of developing shingles by 97% . The vaccine isnt quite as effective in older adults among those 70 and older, Shingrix reduces the risk of developing shingles by 90% .

Along with significantly lowering your risk for shingles, Shingrix also reduces your risk for postherpetic neuralgiaa common chronic pain condition that stems from an outbreak of shingles blisters .

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Who Can Have The Shingles Vaccination

Shingles vaccination is available to everyone aged 70 to 79.

When you’re eligible, you can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year.

The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS to anyone aged 80 or over because it seems to be less effective in this age group.

Read more about who can have the shingles vaccine.

Herpes Vaccines And Hiv

People with HSV-2 infection are at least three times more likely to become infected with HIV if exposed. Thus, interventions targeting HSV-2, such as new HSV vaccines, have the potential for additional benefit against HIV, which could be particularly powerful in regions with a high incidence of co-infection.

Content sources: The WHO, US CDC, WHO, NIH, research papers,, and the Precision Vaccinations news network. Content is fact-checked by healthcare providers, such as Dr. Robert Carlson.

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How Do You Catch Shingles

You do not “catch” shingles it comes on when there’s a reactivation of chickenpox virus that’s already in your body.

After you’ve recovered from chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus lies dormant in your nerve cells and can reactivate at a later stage when your immune system is weakened.

Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles.

Will There Be Any Side Effects From The Shingles Vaccination


There are 2 shingles vaccines: Zostavax and Shingrix .

With both vaccines it’s quite common to get redness and discomfort at the vaccination site, headaches and fatigue, but these side effects should not last more than a few days. See a GP if you have side effects that last longer than a few days, or if you develop a rash after having the shingles vaccination.

Read more about the shingles vaccine side effects.

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Can A Vaccine Prevent Herpes Outbreaks Commentary

Sheldon R. Morris

Researchers recently reported a successful test of a new vaccine for the herpes virus. Does this mean we will soon be able to use vaccines to eliminate herpes infections just like weve nearly eliminated some other virus infections ?

Not yet, unfortunately.

What is a herpes infection?

Infection with the herpes simplex virus causes recurring episodes of small, painful, fluid-filled blisters on the skin, mouth, lips , eyes, or genitals . Herpes simplex infection causes many problems across the globe. Experts estimate that over 400 million people worldwide are infected. In addition to the discomfort that genital herpes can cause, genital herpes can also cause life-threatening illness such as encephalitis and other serious infections in newborn babies if the virus is passed to a newborn during the birth process. And having herpes simplex virus infection can increase the risk of acquiring HIV infection.

Why do we need a herpes vaccine?

A big problem with the herpes virus is that once people have an infection, the virus stays with them for life. The virus stays dormant in the body and at various times reactivates and causes symptoms. Even when there are no visible blisters and no symptoms, the virus may be present on the genitals and can be spread to sex partners.

Is the new herpes vaccine the solution we want?

  • How often they got outbreaks of herpes blisters
  • How much herpes virus they were releasing based on test swabs taken from their genitals

Disclaimer And Safety Information

This information is not intended to replace the attention or advice of a physician or other qualified health care professional. Anyone who wishes to embark on any dietary, drug, exercise, or other lifestyle change intended to prevent or treat a specific disease or condition should first consult with and seek clearance from a physician or other qualified health care professional. Pregnant women in particular should seek the advice of a physician before using any protocol listed on this website. The protocols described on this website are for adults only, unless otherwise specified. Product labels may contain important safety information and the most recent product information provided by the product manufacturers should be carefully reviewed prior to use to verify the dose, administration, and contraindications. National, state, and local laws may vary regarding the use and application of many of the therapies discussed. The reader assumes the risk of any injuries. The authors and publishers, their affiliates and assigns are not liable for any injury and/or damage to persons arising from this protocol and expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects resulting from the use of the information contained herein.

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What Is The Shingles Vaccine And How Does It Work

Vaccines are designed to cause beneficial immune-system changes. Those changes can help improve your immune systems response to a virus or bacteria.

In the case of Shingrix, those changes can help your immune system block or suppress the virus that causes shingles. The shingles vaccine does this in part by boosting the ability of white blood cellsalso known as T cellsto suppress the reactivated varicella-zoster virus that causes shingles .

Shingrix involves two shots in your upper arm. You should get these shots 26 months apart .

Basic Research On Herpes

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The immune system is extremely complex, and Hutch research on how it responds to herpes has delivered surprising insights. Dr. Jennifer Lund discovered that, in response to genital herpes, a type of T cell thought to suppress inflammation will actually boost the immune response. Her team explores how these cells work to control the virus, particularly in mucosal tissues where infections begin â research that could help to develop a herpes vaccine. In another surprising discovery, Hutch researchers in the Corey Lab found that HSV-2 uses a small protein to help repair damaged nerves. Because the virus travels along nerves, it repairs them so it can spread infection to other tissues. The team is exploring whether this newly discovered nerve growth factor might be harnessed to reduce nerve damage, known as neuropathy, that is often a side effect of chemotherapy in cancer patients.

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Moderna Targets Shingles In Mrna Pipeline Expansion

Related tags:Moderna, mRNA, Shingles, Vaccine

There is no vaccine currently approved against HSV. For shingles, Pfizer is also developing a vaccine against the disease, with both mRNA pioneers hoping to offer a vaccine with higher efficacy and a more efficient production process than current vaccines.

Both HSV and VZV are latent viruses that remain in the body for life after infection and can lead to life-long medical conditions. Moderna now has five vaccine candidates against latent viruses in development: with the new targets joining vaccines against cytomegalovirus , Epstein-Barr virus , Human immunodeficiency virus .

Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, said: “We are committed to addressing latent viruses with the goal of preventing the lifelong medical conditions that they cause with our mRNA vaccine programs.

With our HSV and VZV vaccine candidates, we also hope to improve the quality of life for those with symptomatic disease.

With our new checkpoint cancer vaccine, we look forward to exploring if we can induce T cells specific to PD-L1 and IDO1 through vaccination.

Our research teams are working on additional mRNA candidates, which we look forward to sharing in the future.”

The three new projects will build on learnings from the company’s COVID-19 vaccine and join other candidates in Moderna’s pipeline which include a flu vaccine, RSV vaccine, and Zika vaccine.

What Does The Shingles Vaccine Cost

That depends. Some insurers cover the shingles vaccinein whole or in partwhile others do not. Likewise, Medicare and Medicaid may or may not cover the vaccine .

If youre paying out of pocket, the shingles vaccine can be quite expensivemore than $150. Thats according to Gourd, a for-profit company that tracks the cost of vaccines and other medicines .

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Approaches To Vaccine Development

Although there are no currently available vaccines for herpes simplex 1 and 2, there are various candidates in both the pre-clinical and the clinical phases currently in development. Vaccines are being developed with two broad focuses: preventative and therapeutic, some with a dual use. Preventative vaccines are focused on the prevention of primary infection in a seronegative subject. Therapeutic vaccines aim to prevent HSV reactivation, decrease the number of recurrences, or to reduce the severity or duration of clinical symptoms . With regard to vaccine development, given our knowledge of the immunology surrounding HSV, it seems that an effective vaccine would likely stimulate not only humoral responses, but also cell-mediated responses. Different vaccine subtypes have their unique advantages and disadvantages, discussed further in the next section.

Recombinant vaccines are usually composed of proteins that are not strong immunoactivators. Therefore, they require adjuvants to stimulate the innate immune system. This leads to the humoral response and proper inoculation. They are not needed for live-attenuated viruses. Different constituents can enhance and target different facets of the immune response. It is important to focus on the adjuvants in each vaccine trial and evaluate their role in eliciting a lasting humoral and cell-mediated response .

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Shingles Immunisation

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All medicines and vaccines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time theyre not.

For most people, the chance of having a serious side effect from a vaccine is much lower than the chance of serious harm if you caught the disease.

Talk to your doctor about possible side effects of shingles vaccines, or if you have possible side effects that worry you.

Common side effects of shingles vaccines include:

  • pain, redness, swelling or itching where the needle went in

Serious reactions to immunisation are rare. With Zostavax® vaccination, very rarely a generalised chickenpox-like rash may occur around 24 weeks after vaccination. This may be associated with fever and feeling unwell. This rash may be a sign of a serious reaction to the virus in the vaccine. Seek medical attention and inform of recent Zostavax vaccination if you experience this reaction.

The Consumer Medicine Information links in How do you get immunised against shingles? list the side effects of each vaccine.

Also Check: Who Can Have Shingles Vaccine

New Vaccine Delivery Approaches And Adjuvants

Many formulations, particularly those based on subunits, fail to induce protective immune responses because they are not delivered in the correct way. This is particularly true where a cellular response is required in addition to the induction of antibody.

Historically, alum has been the only adjuvant suitable for human vaccines. However, despite its widespread use, information on its mode of action has been sparse until recently. It appears that alum has a more complex effect than merely creating an antigen depot as traditionally thought, and the adjuvant appears to have an active role in stimulating an immune response . Having a detailed knowledge of how alum stimulates the immune system is vital for determining when it may be best utilized and how it may be improved in future formulations. For infections where antibody induction correlates with protection, alum is the adjuvant of choice. There are, however, limitations to aluminium-containing adjuvants, which include local reactions, augmentation of IgE antibody responses, ineffectiveness for some antigens and, perhaps most critically, inability to augment cell-mediated immune responses, especially cytotoxic T cell responses .

C.B. Fox, … S.G. Reed, in, 2017

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