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Foscarnet prophylaxis reduces severity but does not prevent HHV-6 encephalitis

In All, Encephalitis & Encephalopathy, Transplant Complications, Treatments - Antiviral by Kristin Loomis

A Japanese trial of foscarnet prophylaxis in cord blood transplant patients was successful in reducing severity and mortality as well as suppressing high viral loads, but it failed to prevent encephalitis. The authors note that the blood brain barrier must be inflamed to allow effective penetration of the drug into the central nervous system and speculate that the prophylaxis may have protected the meninges.

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Low dose emetine shows promise as a herpesvirus antiviral

In All, Latest Scientific News, Treatments - Antiviral by Kristin Loomis

Investigators at Johns Hopkins have determined that emetine, an older drug used to treat dysentery as well as to induce vomiting, is also effective against cytomegalovirus (CMV/HHV-5). Not only was emetine effective at an extremely low dose, it demonstrated a synergistic effect when combined with ganciclovir in a mouse model of CMV infection and it worked at a much earlier stage of viral replication than the drugs currently in use.

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Genome editing to clear latent herpesvirus infection

In All, Genes & Proteins, Treatments - Antiviral by Kristin Loomis

A group from the University Medical Center in the Netherlands has shown that new gene editing technology can be used to impair viral replication and clear latent herpesvirus infections. The group used a CRISPR-Cas system to target viral genetic elements that completely eliminated CMV and HSV1 replication. They were also able to clear latent EBV from transformed human tumor cells.