Mucosal treatments for herpes simplex virus: Insights on targeted immunoprophylaxis and therapy

Chris L. McGowin, Richard B. Pyles

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Scopus citations


Herpes simplex virus (HSV) serotypes 1 and 2 establish lifelong infections that can produce reactivated pools of virus at mucosal sites where primary infections were initiated. No approved vaccines are available. To break the transmission cycle, interventions must either prevent infection or reduce infectivity at mucosal sites. This article discusses the recent experimental successes of immunoprophylactic and therapeutic compounds that enhance resistance and/or reduce viral loads at genital and ocular mucosa. Current data indicate Toll-like receptor agonists and selected immunomodulating compounds effectively increase the HSV infection threshold and hold promise for genital prophylaxis. Similarly, immunization at genital and extragenital mucosal sites is discussed. Finally, preclinical success with novel immunotherapies for ocular HSV that address herpetic keratitis and corneal blindness is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalFuture Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Genital herpes immunotherapy
  • HSV-1
  • HSV-2
  • Herpes simplex
  • Keratitis mucosa
  • TLR
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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