Herpes Simplex Virus Essay

1360 words - 6 pages

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a virus that affects many people in the world. This paper will discuss the history, taxonomy, structure, and replication of the virus. The common symptoms, treatments, and vaccinations will also be discussed.
The herpes simplex virus was first mentioned as far back as 400 BC. Hippocrates wrote about symptoms of lesions. He used the word “heparin” which means to creep or to crawl. Between 14AD and 37AD Emperor Tiberius banned kissing from public festivals and ceremonies because he understood that the disease was passed from person to person. In 1893 Emile Vidal proved that the herpes simplex virus is transmitted from person to person. The virus was first ...view middle of the document...

For replication, the virus must first enter the cell and to do this HSV binds gB and gC to surface of cell to attach to the cell. Then, gD is able to bind to TNFS14 that causes the envelope of virus to fuse with the membrane of the host. gH-gL are also involved in the fusion. Once the fusion is complete, the capsid is released into the cytoplasm of the cell, partially uncoated through the differential in pH levels, and transported to the nucleus where the small uncoated part of the capsid is allied with a nucleus pore and injects the genome into the nucleus. In the nucleus, the genome circularizes and uses the host enzymes to transcribe the early genes (α genes). The early genes encode DNA binding proteins that enter the nucleus to help in viral transcription of late genes (β genes). The late genes encode capsid structural proteins that enter the nucleus and envelope proteins that’s fuse with the nuclear membrane. The DNA is then replicated by a “rolling circle” method which creates end-to-end copies that are then cut into individual genomes and packaged into capsids inside the nucleus. Then the capsid buds off and becomes surrounded by membrane that contains envelope proteins in them. The enveloped capsid then goes through the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi where the glycoproteins are added and it double enveloped. The double envelope capsid then travels to the cells membrane and one of the envelope layers fuses with the cell membrane and is released. The entire process roughly lasts for about 18 hours. The virus can enter latency after replication by entering the sensory neuron axon and moves to the cell body where it remains until another outbreak occurs.
The symptoms of HSV consist of either a primary infection or a recurrent infection. The primary infection is more intense, it occurs about 2 weeks after a person comes in contact with the virus. The symptoms remain for about 2 to 3 weeks in a primary infection. About 4 to 5 outbreaks occur in the first year of being infected with the virus. A person usually has flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, and swollen glands. Intense inflammation and blistering occur that break and leave painful sores that can take weeks to heal. Sometimes the primary infection doesn’t occur or are very mild and people mistake them for a pimple or an ingrown hair. Because of this many don’t know they have the HSV. In recurrent infections the symptoms are less intense and don’t last as long. After being infected for a year, the number of outbreaks decreases to about 1 or 2 a year. Once healing of blisters starts scabs are formed but scarring is uncommon. On mucous membranes, ulcers are formed.
There are currently no vaccines for HSV. The good news is that the National Institute of Health has launched a trail for a potential vaccination that is led by Lesia K., Dropulic, M.D. Vaccine candidate is HSV529 which...

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