Study: Potential Link With Cold Sore Virus Herpes and Nerve Illnesses

A new study published last month in the journal Nature Communications reveals a potential link between herpes simplex virus and neurodegenerative diseases. Scientists discovered a protein that hinders the spread of herpes simplex virus 1, save for those with compromised immune systems which can result in fatalities. From Newsweek:

“In this study, the scientists focused on HSV-1, which is mainly transmitted orally between people and can result in cold sores and genital herpes in infected people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

It’s thought that around 67 percent of the world’s population under the age of 50—around 3.7 billion people—have an HSV-1 infection. Once someone gets it, it is lifelong, and HSV-1 tends to lie dormant in the body’s nerve cells.

Most oral and genital herpes infections are asymptomatic.

However, in people with compromised immune systems, HSV-1 can cause more severe complications including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or keratitis (inflammation of the eye’s cornea).”

It should be noted that Newsweek also points out (emphasis mine):

This discovery was based on animal testing, in which mice were infected with an eye-targeting HSV-1 virus. The scientists found that the virus was more able to infect (and eventually kill) animals that did not have OPTN.”

Animal testing was used in the course of scientist’s research for this manuscript. With this being identified thanks to using animals for tests, more examinations can be done to later develop therapies or treatments to help patients deal with or may be even cure HSV-1.

Animal rights groups are obviously livid at this news and would condemn the use of animals, in this case mice, in the course of the scientist’s research. By default, groups, like PETA and Direct Action Everywhere, defend the rights of the virus over humans and would rather people suffer and due rather than be well and live.