Novel approaches in fighting herpes simplex virus infections

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2009 Jun;7(5):559-68. doi: 10.1586/eri.09.34.


The development of novel strategies to eradicate herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a global public health priority. While acyclovir and related nucleoside analogues provide successful modalities for treatment and suppression, HSV remains highly prevalent worldwide and is a major cofactor fueling the HIV epidemic. HSV is the predominant cause of genital ulcerative disease, and neonatal and sporadic infectious encephalitis. Asymptomatic shedding, which occurs more frequently than previously appreciated, contributes to viral transmission. Acyclovir resistance may be problematic for immunocompromised patients and highlights the need for new safe and effective agents. Ideally, vaccines to prevent infection, drugs to inhibit the establishment of or reactivation from latency, or vaginal microbicides to prevent sexual and perinatal transmission are needed to control the epidemic. This review summarizes current therapeutic options and strategies in development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Encephalitis, Herpes Simplex / drug therapy
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • Herpes Genitalis / complications
  • Herpes Genitalis / drug therapy
  • Herpes Simplex / drug therapy*
  • Herpes Simplex / prevention & control
  • Herpes Simplex / transmission
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Stomatitis, Herpetic / drug therapy
  • Syndrome
  • Viral Vaccines / pharmacology
  • Viral Vaccines / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Viral Vaccines
  • Acyclovir