Saturday, March 14, 2015

Another Use for Acyclovir!

In class, we learned about acyclovir, a thymidine kinase inhibitor drug that is used against herpesviruses. A recent study has shown that acyclovir may be used to improve outcomes in HIV patients as well, directly impacting HIV-1 replication. Previous studies had demonstrated that treatment for HSV-2 also reduced viral load in co-infected individuals with both HIV-1 and HSV-2, but no study had looked as just HIV-1 positive, HSV-2 seronegative individuals. 

From the study, conducted by Leonid Margolis and team of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, there is hope that acyclovir (known also by the brand name Valtrex) will lead to improved treatment in the drug therapy regimen for HSV patients. This is particularly important because acyclovir and valacyclovir, both thymidine kinase inhibitors, do not have many side effects and can be more easily tolerated by patients than more severe drug schedules.

However, this study was only conducted in a group of 18 HIV-1 HSV-2 seronegative individuals, so the study should be replicated in a larger group in the future to confirm these findings still hold true. 

- Nicole
Here are some sources linking to this news, including the primary source (the article was just accepted for publication very recently!)

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