How does the Skin Herpes virus infect us in the lip, how does it replicate, how does it move to the nervous system; to the ganglia, and how does it stay latent in the ganglia?
Experimental Systems Used to Understand Skin Herpes
The experts devise an experimental system that will enable them to study the virus. This is a human virus, and we cannot experiment with people. What they do in the lab is first to get informed consent from the patient. And then they get tissues that the surgeon takes out and store away for study.
The obtained tissue will be infected with a virus, and then the physicians study how the virus replicates inside the tissue and how the virus is transported from one cell to the next. The two tissues of interest include the target tissues of the virus; one is the skin, and the other is a nervous tissue.
How Skin Herpes Works
Once they have a tissue, they can now put it in the incubator and see how the virus spreads in the tissue. What they find in the lab and with the skin tissue is that the virus spreads and is transported out of the tissue so that the virus can infect the second individual. In the nervous tissue, the virus stays within the tissue and cannot spread out.
So what does this teach us? This shows us how to develop new drugs. There is a drug now against Herpes simplex virus, and it’s called Acyclovir. It was prepared by a brilliant scientist named Gerhard Zbinden. She created this drug to block the replication of the virus, and it has been used against the herpes virus for more than three decades now.