Sunday, June 9, 2024

Does Herpes Weaken Your Immune System

Ifnmediated Immune Response During Hsv1 Infection

Why It Might Be Good to Have Herpes | Trained Immunity

The interferon response is induced during HSV1 infection when PRRs in epithelial cells sense HSV1 associated PAMPs . When IFNs are produced, they bind to their cognate receptors and activate IFN signaling cascades, resulting in the induction of IFNstimulated genes . ISG products create an antiviral state in the infected cells and neighboring uninfected cells to control the infection .

Human myxovirus resistance protein B , an ISG product, is shown to restrict HSV1 infection by inhibiting the delivery of incoming HSV1 DNA to the nucleus, which is specified by its amino terminus and requires GTPase function . Human myxovirus resistance protein 1 is an IFN/ induced antiviral protein that also inhibits replication of HSV1, however the antiviral mechanism is not fully understood. A variant MxA isoform stimulated by HSV1 infected cells in the absence of IFN induction enhanced production of infectious virus progeny in HSV1 infected cells . The VarMxA protein is expressed as a smaller 56kDa variant and is alternatively spliced in HSV1infected cells. In contrast to IFNinduced human MxA, which remains cytoplasmic, the varMxA protein is translocated into the nuclei of infected cells where it is associated with viral replication compartments and virions. This suggests that humans code for two MxA isoforms which is produced from alternative splicing .

Herpes Doesnt Always Produce Noticeable Symptoms

When you hear the word herpes, what do you think of? For most of us, herpes is associated with painful sores, or lesions, that can form around the mouth, as well as similar sores that can form on or around the genitals.

These sores, which are called herpes lesions, are the most common and obvious symptom of herpes. However, not everyone thats infected with herpes will develop sores, and even people that do develop them might not experience them for years at a time.

Because of this, some people might mistakenly believe that theyre immune to herpes even if theyre infected, just because they dont have any visible side effects. These people are considered asymptomatic carriers.

In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the majority of people with herpes wont ever experience any symptoms. This means that youre more likely not to develop herpes sores than to develop them, even if youre infected.

Even people with symptomatic herpes might feel as if theyve become immune to the virus at certain times. This is because outbreaks arent always frequent, meaning you could go months or years without a herpes outbreak before suddenly experiencing one.

Interestingly, this is because your body literally does become more immune to the herpes virus over time. After an initial infection and outbreak, the body starts a complex immune response to the virus that, for some people, can make outbreaks less severe and frequent over time.

Clinical Course: The Human Significance

HSV-1 is a highly successful human pathogen. This is shown by seroprevalance studies demonstrating widespread transmission in childhood such that 39% of individuals 14-19 years of age are already infected, and prevalence rates increase to 65.3% by middle adulthood . The vast majority of transmission in the general population is through saliva and less commonly through genital transmission, and infection is usually asymptomatic or manifest as a simple cold sore on the labia with little further sequelae. Nevertheless, a small fraction of patients HSV-1 infection develop more serious diseases of the CNS, the most notable of which is encephalitis. The yearly incidence of HSV-1 encephalitis has been estimated at 2-4 cases /1,000,000 individuals . It is also the most common cause of sporadic viral encephalitis and was responsible for 75% of hospitalizations for viral encephalitis in the United States prior to the introduction of West Nile Virus to North America .

Don’t Miss: How Many Americans Have Genital Herpes

What Effect Does Herpes Have On Immuno

While there is no hard, confirmed evidence of the precise effect of herpes on your immune system, what we do know is that the herpes family of viruses do pose a much greater risk to those people with compromised immune systems.

In people with immune deficiencies caused by diseases such as AIDS or HIV or by chemotherapy infections with HSVs can lead to prolonged and severe periods of active genital or oral herpes. Other herpesviruses such as CMV can cause severe diseases such as meningitis and hepatitis in immuno-compromised people too.

Meanwhile Virus Proteins Are Transcribed Perfectly

HIV mouth sores: Pictures, causes, treatment, and prevention

Another interesting discovery is that although the host DNA is transcribed into nonsense, it transcribes the viral DNA perfectly throughout infection.

Thus, HSV-1 produces two results that are to its advantage. The effect of producing nonsense from the host cell DNA causes the cell to shut itself off preventing the immune system from attacking the virus. And this in turn helps increase the production of viral proteins and the production of new virus particles.

The researchers note that their discovery may explain why so many previous studies have suggested HSV-1 activates large numbers of genes that normal host transcription would overlook. They suggest something else is happening: because the transcription does not stop at the end codes, it may appear that hundreds of additional genes are being transcribed, but these are never translated into proteins. Prof. Dölken explains:

Unlike previous studies, which only studied single genes, we also found no indication that the virus generally impedes the processing of RNA in the cell nucleus, known as splicing. Instead, it causes unusual splicing events, many of which have never before been observed.

The study also achieves a significant step forward in the method for studying viruses in cells. It shows how a single experimental approach can be used to observe and record all the changes to host RNA transcription and their effect on protein production.

Read Also: Are Herpes Test Always Accurate

Take An Immune Strengthening Formula That Contains Actives That Are Both Antiviral And Immune Enhancing

Andrographis, Echinacea and Olive Leaf are herbs which can assist your body in producing high levels of white blood cells essential to the bodys immune system, including natural killer cells, T-helper cells and macrophages. These cells circulate throughout the body, policing against and scavenging for pathogens and foreign invaders, such as the herpes virus.

Researchers Discover How Herpes Tricks The Immune System

Washington University School Of Medicine
Herpes viruses enter the body and hide away in cells, often re-emerging later to cause illnesses such as shingles, genital herpes and cancer. How these viruses evade the immune system remains poorly understood, but researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered that a mouse herpes virus uses molecules that mimic a cell’s own proteins to help thwart an immune attack.

St. Louis, August 20, 2002 — Herpes viruses enter the body and hide away in cells, often re-emerging later to cause illnesses such as shingles, genital herpes and cancer. How these viruses evade the immune system remains poorly understood, but researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered that a mouse herpes virus uses molecules that mimic a cell’s own proteins to help thwart an immune attack.

The findings also suggest that a branch of the immune system known as the complement system may play a more important role in controlling herpes virus infections than previously thought. The study is published in the August issue of the journal Immunity.

Virgin’s team found that one type of herpes virus makes its own version of RCA to trick the immune system and evade destruction by complement, but that the RCA mimic proteins help the virus only during acute infection.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Washington University School Of Medicine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Don’t Miss: How To Treat Herpes Rash On Buttocks

Sweet Lullaby: Scientists Uncover How Herpes Virus Sleeps And Wakes

ByChristopher Wanjek27 October 2017

Viruses are tricky beasts. Some of these “submicroscopic” pathogens can “go to sleep” inside a person’s body, essentially hiding from the immune system indefinitely, only to reactivate and cause illness later.

Now, scientists have learned how to prevent one type of virus, the herpes virus, from slipping into its sleep-like dormant phase and out of sight. This is a major step in understanding the virus’s unique ability to essentially hide from the immune system, the scientists say.

More than 80 percent of the world’s population is infected with herpes simplex virus , according to the World Health Organization, which includes HSV-1, which causes cold sores, and HSV-2, which causes genital warts.

But most people who are infected with the virus have no symptoms until something external stress, illness or even sunlight, for example triggers the virus to wake up and start replicating and spreading. This, in turn, prompts the immune system to attack the virus, resulting in inflammation and the characteristic blisters around the mouth, lips, nose or genitals. It’s during this “reactivation” that the virus can spread from person to person.

The findings were published yesterday in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

Complications Of Genital Herpes

Does Staying Inside Weaken Your Immune System?

Likewise, theres no current cure for genital herpes. These infections can also be mild and harmless. Even so, theres the risk of complications.

Minor complications with genital herpes include inflammation around the bladder and rectum area. This can lead to swelling and pain. If swelling prevents emptying the bladder, you may need a catheter.

Meningitis is another possible, though unlikely, complication. It occurs when the viral infection spreads and causes inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Viral meningitis is typically a mild infection. It may clear on its own.

Like oral herpes, encephalitis is also a possible complication of genital herpes, but its even more rare.

Keep in mind that having genital herpes increases the risk of other STIs. Blisters can cause breaks in the skin, making it easier for certain microbes to enter the body.

Even though genital herpes doesnt have serious complications for most people, the HSV-2 virus that causes it is dangerous to babies born to a mother who has it.

Neonatal herpes is a complication of genital herpes. An infection that passes to a child during pregnancy or childbirth can cause brain damage, blindness, or even death to a newborn baby.

Treatment typically consists of antivirals to suppress the virus.

HSV-1 and HSV-2 are common types of herpes. However, other types of the virus can also have potentially serious complications.

Also Check: What Topical Cream Is Good For Herpes

What Causes Herpes Simplex

Herpes simplex viruses spread from person to person through close contact. You can get a herpes simplex virus from touching a herpes sore. Most people, however, get herpes simplex from an infected person who does not have sores. Doctors call this asymptomatic viral shedding.

How people get herpes around their mouth

A person with HSV-1 can pass it to someone else by:

  • Kissing

  • Touching the persons skin, such as pinching a childs cheek

  • Sharing objects such as silverware, lip balm, or a razor

How people get herpes on their genitals

You can get genital herpes after coming into contact with HSV-1 or HSV-2. Most people get genital herpes from HSV-2, which they get during sex. If someone has a cold sore and performs oral sex, this can spread HSV-1 to the genitals, and cause herpes sores on the genitals.

Mothers can give the herpes virus to their baby during childbirth. If the baby is born during the mother’s first episode of genital herpes, the baby can have serious problems.

Symptoms Of Oral Herpes

Oral herpes is most often caused by HSV-1, but can also be caused by HSV-2. It usually affects the lips and, in some primary attacks, the mucous membranes in the mouth. A herpes infection may occur on the cheeks or in the nose, but facial herpes is very uncommon.

Primary Oral Herpes Infection

If the primary oral infection causes symptoms, they can be very painful, particularly in children. Symptoms include:

  • Tingling, burning, or itching around the mouth are the first signs.
  • Red, fluid-filled blisters that may form on the lips, gums, mouth, and throat.
  • Blisters that break open and leak. As they heal, they turn yellow and crusty, eventually turning into pink skin. The sores last 10 to 14 days and can be very uncomfortable.
  • Blisters that may be preceded or accompanied by sore throat, fever, swollen glands, and painful swallowing.

Recurrent Oral Herpes Infection

A recurrent oral herpes infection is much milder than the primary outbreak. It usually manifests as a single sore, commonly called a cold sore or fever blister . The sore usually shows up on the outer edge of the lips and rarely affects the gums or throat.

Also Check: Does Lysol Kill Herpes On Surfaces

Does Herpes Weaken Your Immune System

In 30 seconds

Does herpes weaken your immune system? The answer is not as easy as a simple yes or no. Rather, there is evidence to suggest both that herpesviruses can boost your immune system in specific ways and cause it to become dysfunctional.

Why? Herpes is not just one single disease. Rather, herpesviruses which cause cold sores, genital herpes, chickenpox, shingles, and even cancer are a complex group of viruses. These pose a unique challenge for your immune system, giving them their familiar cycle of latency and reactivation which sees them disappear and return. In some cases, your body never deals with them fully.

While they can pose serious problems for your immune response, there is no evidence that herpes weakens your immune system in the long run. However, scientists are yet to fully understand exactly how these viruses work.

How Does Genital Herpes Affect People With A Weakened Immune System

Does Herpes Weaken Your Immune System?

People with weakened immune systems, such as those with AIDS, may experience more severe symptoms during a genital herpes outbreak. Sores may be more painful or take a longer time to heal. Talk to your doctor if you have a weakened immune system and genital herpes.

Recommended Reading: How Long Herpes Outbreak Last

Continue Learning About Genital Herpes

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

Virus Deactivates The Cellular Immune Response

The researchers investigated HSV in cell cultures and in mouse brains.

HSV is best known as the virus that causes cold sores, but in rare cases it can also infect the brain.

The researchers hypothesized that, since cGAS-STING is so important in relation to the opportunities a virus has for infecting a cell, viruses will also have developed weapons targeting cGAS-STING and the researchers verified this in the study.

First, the researchers created many HSV mutants with one or more genes knocked out to determine which genes play a role in the virus ability to bypass cGAS-STING.

They found that a mutant lacking the deubiquitinase activity of the VP1-2 protein activated the cells immune system to a much greater extent, which indicated that the mutants primary weapon had been destroyed.

Deubiquitination works by removing ubiquitins from proteins, and in the case of cGAS-STING, the ubiquitins help to activate the immune systems police officers, explains Søren Riis Paludan.

Don’t Miss: How Do Women Get Herpes

How Will My Doctor Know If I Have Herpes

Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at your symptoms. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. In certain situations, a blood test may be used to look for herpes antibodies. Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider and ask whether you should be tested for herpes or other STDs.

Please note: A herpes blood test can help determine if you have herpes infection. It cannot tell you who gave you the infection or how long you have been infected.

How Can I Be Treated

Dietitian: You can’t ‘boost’ immune system

Theres no cure for herpes, as it stays in your body for the rest of your life. However, your doctor can prescribe you treatments that will reduce symptoms and speed up your recovery.

Also, if you have herpes, the symptoms may reappear, especially if your immune system is lowered or during times of stress. Youll probably find that outbreaks will become less frequent over time. The best way to avoid outbreaks is by eating a healthy diet and resting well. Medication can be used if you get frequent outbreaks.

Recommended Reading: How To Know If You Have Herpes

Does Herpes Cause Auto

Another study looked into the relation between certain herpesviruses and auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Auto-immune diseases are diseases in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body. The study linked these diseases to a specific strain of herpesvirus known as the Epstein-Barr virus.

This link has not yet been fully confirmed. And it is important to note that this is not the virus that causes genital and oral herpes.

Hsv1 Mechanisms To Evade Cgassting Pathway

Coevolution of HSV1 with humans has resulted in several mechanisms to bypass the immune response, resulting in HSV1 circumventing or suppressing the cGASSTING signaling pathway . One mechanism is the expression of HSV1 protein UL41, which reduces the expression of cGAS by degrading cGAS mRNA, and inhibits downstream activation of the IFN response . Additionally, HSV1 protein VP22 interacts directly with cGAS and inhibits its enzymatic activity, preventing cGAMP production and STING activation . However, bypassing signaling by cGAS is not the only mechanism by which this pathway can be inhibited. HSV1 protein UL46 has been shown to interfere with dimerization of TBK1, interfering with TBK1s ability to interact with IRF3, ultimately resulting in a diminished IFN response . Interestingly, in addition to suppressing aspects of cGASSTING signaling, there is some evidence that STING is required for optimal growth of HSV1 . When HeLa cells were infected with a strain of HSV1 lacking viral proteins ICP0 or ICP4, STING degradation was observed. These results suggest ICP0 and ICP4 are involved in stabilizing STING . Overall, STING has been shown to be both detrimental and required for HSV1 replication . More research is needed to elucidate the exact relationship between STING degradation and HSV1 replication.

Table 3 HSV1 Proteins and Innate Immune Evasion.

Also Check: How Are You Tested For Herpes

Popular Articles
Related news