Herpes is a contagious life-long infection with persistently high incidence and prevalence, causing significant disease worldwide. Current therapies have efficacy against active HSV infections but no impact on the latent viral reservoir in neurons. Thus, despite treatment, disease recurs from latency and the infectious potential remains unaffected within patients.
Here, efficacy of the helicase-primase inhibitor (HPI) IM-250 against chronic neuronal HSV infections utilizing two classic herpes in vivo latency/reactivation animal models (intravaginal guinea pig HSV-2 infection model and ocular mouse HSV-1 infection model) is presented. Intermittent therapy of infected animals with 4–7 cycles of IM-250 during latency silences subsequent recurrences analyzed up to 6 months. In contrast to common experience, our studies show that the latent reservoir is indeed accessible to antiviral therapy altering the latent viral reservoir such that reactivation frequency can be reduced significantly by prior IM-250 treatment.
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