This review explores the development of prophylactic genital herpes vaccines and their potential impact on perinatal and oral-facial disease. Vaccine strategies have included the use of whole killed virus, viral subunits, attenuated live virus, viral vectors, and bare DNA. To date, the recombinant subunit vaccine, truncated HSV-2 gD and alum/MPL, has been the most efficacious. The vaccine is 73 to 74 percent effective in preventing genital disease in herpes simplex virus seronegative women but is not effective in men or seropositive women. Models predict a significant impact on genital herpes if it limits viral shedding. Reductions in perinatal and oral-facial disease are likely to occur as well. Once an efficacious herpes vaccine is available, its effectiveness will depend ultimately on vaccine acceptance by professional organizations, healthcare professionals, and parents. Further research is required to improve on and fully understand the implications of prophylactic herpes simplex vaccines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Microbiology (medical)