HSV-1 Latency



Herpes Simplex Virus, type 1 (HSV-1) infects over 70% of US adults, and in addition to causing cold sores, blinding keratitis and rarely, fatal encephalitis, latent infection has also associated with cognitive dysfunction.  Acyclovir is effective in treating lytic HSV-1 recurrence but there are no effective drugs to treat the latent infection.  In collaboration with Dr. Vishwajit Nimgaonkar and his team we have implemented a platform using iPSC derived neurons and High Content Analysis in a 384-well format  (D’Aiuto et al. Large-scale generation of human iPSC-derived neural stem cells/early neural progenitor cells and their neuronal differentiation, Organogenesis, 2014;10:364-377) to test compounds for inhibition of lytic HSV-1 infection, and are extending it to identify compounds that will suppress reactivation of latent HSV-1 infection.