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Vaccine. 2017 Sep 25. pii: S0264-410X(17)31273-2. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.09.044. [Epub ahead of print]

Biologic interactions between HSV-2 and HIV-1 and possible implications for HSV vaccine development.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Division, Seattle, WA, United States; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Clinical Research Division, Seattle, WA, United States; University of Washington, Department of Medicine, Seattle, WA, United States. Electronic address:
World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, Geneva, Switzerland.


Development of a safe and effective vaccine against herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) has the potential to limit the global burden of HSV-2 infection and disease, including genital ulcer disease and neonatal herpes, and is a global sexual and reproductive health priority. Another important potential benefit of an HSV-2 vaccine would be to decrease HIV infections, as HSV-2 increases the risk of HIV-1 acquisition several-fold. Acute and chronic HSV-2 infection creates ulcerations and draws dendritic cells and activated CD4+ T cells into genital mucosa. These cells are targets for HIV entry and replication. Prophylactic HSV-2 vaccines (to prevent infection) and therapeutic vaccines (to modify or treat existing infections) are currently under development. By preventing or modifying infection, an effective HSV-2 vaccine could limit HSV-associated genital mucosal inflammation and thus HIV risk. However, a vaccine might have competing effects on HIV risk depending on its mechanism of action and cell populations generated in the genital mucosa. In this article, we review biologic interactions between HSV-2 and HIV-1, consider HSV-2 vaccine development in the context of HIV risk, and discuss implications and research needs for future HSV vaccine development.


HIV; HSV vaccine; Sexually transmitted infection

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