An experimental vaccine tested in animals incites a double-edged immune reaction against the virus that causes genital herpes. The finding may pave the way for tests in people. The vaccine stirred up both antibodies and immune cells against herpes simplex virus 2, suggesting it might work as both a preventive and a treatment. Herpes causes painful skin blisters and spreads easily from person to person.
Other herpes vaccines created from viral proteins (SN: 12/21/02, p. 399: Available to subscribers at Herpes vaccine progresses) and viral DNA (SN: 8/19/00, p. 116: Available to subscribers at DNA vaccine immunizes fetal lambs) have induced antibody production against the virus but delivered inconsistent benefits. The new vaccine, called dl5-29 and made by Avant Immunotherapeutics of Needham, Mass., instead consists of a live herpes virus that's missing two critical genes. Another potential vaccine, further along in testing, is m