Cold Sores Linked to Genetic Mutation
Some people are more troubled by cold sores because they have a genetic mutation that prevents their immune systems from keeping the viru...
A new study reveals that a mutation in a gene causes some people to be more prone to a strain of the herpes virus that causes cold sores. This is because they have immune systems that are unable to prevent cold sores from developing.
Eighty to 90 percent of people are infected with the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). However, only about a quarter of these people get frequent cold sores.
Researchers also linked the IL28b gene to treatment responses for hepatitis C patients. Researchers found that patients are less likely to respond well to treatment if this gene is mutated. Researchers said the latest study supports previous findings that a single genetic mutation can be linked to different viruses.
"Most people carry the cold sore strain of the herpes simplex virus, but until now we never knew why only some of them develop cold sores," researcher Professor Juergen Haas, of the University of Edinburgh's Division of Pathway Medicine, said in a news release.
"Knowing that susceptibility to the virus involved relates to people's genes reinforces the need to research, not only the evolution of viruses themselves, but also the susceptibility of hosts to infection," Haas added.