New drug combination may improve cold sore treatment

Research from Kent’s School of Biosciences and the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, has found a drug combination that may improve treatment for diseases caused by herpes simplex viruses such as cold sore, genital herpes, and keratitis.

New research led by Professors Martin Michaelis (School of Biosciences) and Jindrich Cinatl (Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) has shown that a drug used the treat heartburn improve the effectiveness of the anti-viral drug, acyclovir, commonly used to treat herpes simplex infections.

This virus causes cold sores, genital herpes and keratitis (the leading cause of blindness in developed countries), and in immunosuppressed patients, herpes simplex infections can cause life-threatening conditions.

The researchers tested different drugs on cells grown in culture and found that omeprazole when combined with acyclovir significantly reduced the amount of viral spreading between cells.

Dr Mark Wass, a co-author from the School of Biosciences, said: ‘Combining these two drugs could vastly improve the broader treatment of herpes simplex virus. The importance of the effect of this research reaches from the minor to the lifesaving and we look forward to seeing where this next leads.’

Read more about this discovery on the University of Kent’s News Centre.