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  • 10/31/2011

Gene tied to cold sores identified

cold sores
Scientists have identified a certain gene that appears to be associated with herpes simplex labialis infection, commonly known as cold sores.

Herpes labialis is an infection of the lip, mouth, or nose by herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). The fluid-filled blisters which are crusty and painful usually last a few days. Unlike most viral infections, the cold sore virus is not completely eliminated by the body defenses and therefore may often recur.

In previous investigations which involved 43 large families in Utah, researchers had discovered a location in chromosome 21 in which six genes associated with cold sore were located.

To recognize which of the six possible genes were associated with the frequency of outbreaks, a team of researchers from the University of Utah and the University of Massachusetts looked at 618 people from the previously studied families.

Analyzing the participants' genes, Dr. John D. Kriesel and colleagues identified a gene called C21orf91, which was linked to more frequent cold sores outbreaks.

The gene was previously obscure and was only known to be expressed in retinal precursor cells and anterior epithelial lens cells in chicks.

Although the role of C21orf9 and its associated protein in cold sore outbreaks are still unclear, researchers suggested that the gene be renamed the Cold Sore Susceptibility Gene 1 (CSSG1).

”While these findings await confirmation in a larger, unrelated population, these findings could have important implications for the development of new drugs that affect determinants of the cold sore phenotype,”‌ said the team whose study was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

In an editorial accompanying the study, Australian scientists noted that the findings were confirmed and future studies can determine if the identified gene has an association with genital herpes.

The new genetic findings may also be a new target for developing effective and long lasting treatments for cold sores.

Source: presstv.ir

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