Scientists have deciphered the herpesvirus genome. The study showed that the virus does not have 80 so-called reading frames – areas where information in DNA is read and translated into proteins, but 284. This is stated in a study by scientists from Julius University, published in the journal Nature Communications.
Infection with the herpes simplex virus of the first type (HSV-1) has serious consequences for human health. For example, HSV-1 can provoke pneumonia in patients with a weakened immune system who are on mechanical ventilation machines in intensive care units. In healthy people, the virus can cause encephalitis, a disease that often leads to permanent brain damage.
After infection, the virus persists in the body for the rest of its life, gradually engaging in the cells of the body. Inside the body, the virus can remain inactive for long periods of time and return to life only when the immune system is weakened.
In a new study, scientists were able to sequence the complete HSV-1 genome. The work showed that he does not have 80 so-called open reading frames (OPC). These are sites in the genome where information in DNA is read and translated into proteins. In reality, there were much more – 284.
The discovery of scientists will not only better understand the structure and behavior of the virus, but also act on it to create oncolytic viruses. This is a modification that will allow the use of the herpes virus of the first type for the treatment of melanoma.