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How and Why Herpes Viruses Reactivate to Cause Disease

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Waverunner, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

    The reason for reactivation of viruses seems to be, that the body is busy fighting off another infection, in this study, bacteria. I guess this can have some relevance for CFS. If the body is busy fighting off another infection or suffers from an autoimmune disease, that uses up the same resources, which are needed for proper immune function. It therefore lifts the breaks of latent viruses and could lead to the clinical picture we see in PWCs.

    ScienceDaily (Oct. 31, 2012) — The mere mention of the word "herpes" usually conjures negative images and stereotypes, but most people have been infected with some form of the virus. For most, a sore appears, heals and is forgotten, although the virus remains latent just waiting for the right circumstances to come back. Now, the mystery behind what triggers the virus to become active again is closer to being solved thanks to new research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology's November 2012 issue.

    In the report, scientists show how the immune system may lose its control over the virus when facing new microbial threats, such as when it must fend off other viral invaders or bacteria.
    "Because almost all people are infected by one or more herpes family viruses during their lifetime, the potential impact of these findings are significant," said Charles H. Cook, M.D., FACS, FCCM, director of surgical critical care at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, Ohio, and a researcher involved in the work. "We hope that by understanding how these latent viral infections are controlled that we can prevent reactivation events and improve people's lives."
    To make this discovery, researchers studied mice with latent herpes family cytomegalovirus (CMV) during severe bacterial infections. They found that T-cells responsible for CMV control were reduced significantly during a new infection with bacteria. This, in effect, reduced the "brakes" which kept the virus under control, allowing the virus to reactivate and cause disease. When the immune system eventually sensed the reactivation, the memory T-cell levels returned to normal, effectively restoring the body's control over the virus.
    "Finding ways to control herpes flare ups is important, not only for the health of the person with the virus, but also for preventing its transmission," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "This report highlights the important interplay when we are 'co-infected' with more than one microbe and provides important insights into why the immune system sometimes fails as well as how it can regain control of latent herpes virus infections."
    Enid, allyb, Sparrow and 8 others like this.
  2. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

    Highly significant, thanks for posting! This was always to be suspected but nice to see it on paper!
    SickOfSickness likes this.
  3. AFCFS

    AFCFS Senior Member

    Interesting. I had a herpes outbreak (cold sores that I had got at about six years-old) right at the time I was hit full throttle with CFS. Mentioned it to doc, he said similar to your post. I do not remember the last time I had it before that, maybe the early 90s, so it does seem that something "provoked it." Went away fairly quickly though, in a few days.

    I think the part that says: "In the report, scientists show how the immune system may lose its control over the virus when facing new microbial threats, such as when it must fend off other viral invaders or bacteria," may be the reason the doc ordered a slew of viral and "past infection" tests. All negative, but was also told that there are many "sub clinical" viruses that either go undetected or will do a "hit and run" on the system. Also believe one reason for a Hashimoto's test as well as spinal tap for Multiple sclerosis, another autoimmune disease.
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I think when the immune system gets multiple hits then it struggles. My cfs doc said that it was common when people got cfs that they got struck by multiple infections close together. If someone gets glandular fever(EBV) they will be immune suppressed during and in the post viral state which makes it easier for them to get other infections. Herpes viruses always seem to be near the surface and can easily reactivate when one is under stress. Maybe the issue with cfs is that our nk cells dont work and there job is to fight viruses and cancer cells, so if they are up the creek in a barbed wire canoe then herpes viruses like ebv are going to have an easier time reactivating.
  5. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

    If CFS would receive a little bit more funding, I'm quite sure that we would have breakthroughs in a very short period of time. Until then we only can speculate if it's an autoimmune disease or if it's caused directly by an infection.

    EDIT: I just wanted to add that CFS could have other causes as well.
    heapsreal likes this.

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