‘The secret of how the cold sore virus manages to persist for a lifetime in the human body may have been cracked by US scientists.
The herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) can lie dormant in facial nerves, emerging periodically to cause sores.
A Duke University Medical Center team may have uncovered how it can reactivate itself from a dormant state.
The finding, published in the journal Nature, could eventually lead to new treatments.
When fighting a virus, the immune system relies heavily on the protein chemicals produced by the virus which it uses to help mark it for destruction.
Herpes viruses manage to evade the immune system by shutting down production of these proteins completely, and remaining in this state for long periods before starting to replicate again.’