Sunday, April 16, 2006


Cold Sores, Fever Blisters, Oral Herpes


In answer to Jodi M.: yes scientists are working on a vaccine for cold sores.

Currently there is no vaccine for the Herpes Simplex Virus - herpes simplex type 1 and type 2 - available to the public. Many research labratories, however, are working on this approach to preventing cold sores.

For example, scientists at the "National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research" and the "National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases" have developed an experiental vaccine for cold sores.

In tests on lab mice, the vaccine has prevented the cold sores virus from infecting the animals and establishing itself in the nerves, where the cold sores virus like to hide.

The findings are encouraging, but scientists must complete more animal studies on the safety and effectiveness of this vaccine for cold sores before they are allowed to test it on humans for cold sores.

But don't get your hopes up too much. This cold sores vaccine would only be a preventative not a cure for cold sores (or genital herpes caused by the same virus). It would be useful only for those not already infected with the herpes simplex virus - which there are very few in the world.

Remember, it is estimated, on good authority, that about 90% of the world population is already infected with the herpes simplex virus. For all practical purposes, this means "everybody" is infected with the cold sores virus, whether or not they actually get cold sores.

Also, the use of the cold sores vaccine, should it become a reality, would require a blood test first, to determine if any herpes anti-bodies already exist in the body. If the cold sores virus, or its anti-bodies, are present, this cold sores vaccine would be of no value.

In my humble opinion, this particular vaccine will only be good for preventing cold sores if used as part of the child immunization program. Most children by 9 or 10 are already exposed.

My next post will have to do with those lab mice and cold sores.

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