Medical Microbiology and Immunology

, Volume 204, Issue 2, pp 161–176 | Cite as

Herpes simplex virus 2 infection: molecular association with HIV and novel microbicides to prevent disease

  • Paula A. Suazo
  • Eduardo I. Tognarelli
  • Alexis M. Kalergis
  • Pablo A. GonzálezEmail author


Infection with herpes simplex viruses is one of the most ancient diseases described to affect humans. Infection with these viruses produces vexing effects to the host, which frequently recur. Infection with herpes simplex viruses is lifelong, and currently there is no vaccine or drug to prevent or cure infection. Prevalence of herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) infection varies significantly depending on the geographical region and nears 20 % worldwide. Importantly, HSV-2 is the first cause of genital ulcers in the planet. HSV-2 affects approximately 500 million people around the globe and significantly increases the likelihood of acquiring the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), as well as its shedding. Thus, controlling HSV-2 infection and spread is of public health concern. Here, we review the diseases produced by herpes simplex viruses, the factors that modulate HSV-2 infection, the relationship between HSV-2 and HIV and novel therapeutic and prophylactic microbicides/antivirals under development to prevent infection and pathological outcomes produced by this virus. We also review mutations associated with HSV-2 resistance to common antivirals.


Clinical manifestations Pathology Epidemiology Co-infection Therapeutic and prophylactic antivirals Antiviral resistance 



We thank Angello Retamal for critical revision of this manuscript. Authors are supported by grants FONDECYT 1140011 (CONICYT), FONDECYT 110397 (to AMK), FONDECYT 1100926 (to AMK), Biomedical Research Consortium (3CTI21526-P4 to AMK) and the Millennium Institute on Immunology and Immunotherapy (P09/016-F, Iniciativa Científico Milenio). AMK is a Chaire De La Région Pays De La Loire “Chercheur Étranger D'excellence” and a CDD-DR INSERM.

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paula A. Suazo
    • 1
  • Eduardo I. Tognarelli
    • 1
  • Alexis M. Kalergis
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Pablo A. González
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Genética Molecular y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias BiológicasPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Millennium Institute on Immunology and Immunotherapy, Facultad de Ciencias BiológicasPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  3. 3.Departamento de Inmunología Clínica y Reumatología, Escuela de Medicina, Facultad de MedicinaPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  4. 4.INSERM U1064NantesFrance

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