Luckily I don’t suffer from cold sores, but a lot of people do. Based on some new research a cure for cold sores could be just around the corner. Researchers have found some key information about how cold sores go away and then come back.
By examining the interplay of various molecular substances the virus produces, researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., have found how it hides and then emerges periodically.
One such substance is called latency associated transcript RNA, which the study reveals blocks the formation of proteins that “turn” on the virus and make it replicate. It does this by splitting into strands of microRNAs, which essentially keep the virus in check.
However, in stressful situations, the virus makes more messenger RNA than the microRNAs can handle and eventually viral replication occurs.
“In principle, you could activate and then kill all of the virus in a patient,” said Cullen. “This would completely cure a person, and you would never get another cold sore.