Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Once the virus enters the body it is never removed by the immune system and remains dormant until reactivated. In cold sores the virus lies dormant in the skin around the lips.
The newly discovered cold sore gene, according to the study carried out at the University of Utah Healthand published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, is a gene that is linked to the susceptibility of a person to the frequency of cold sore outbreaks.[quote]The researchers found that two variants of the gene seemed to protect against reactivation of cold sores while two other variants seemed to increase the risk of frequent cold sore outbreaks.[/quote]
The researchers concluded that drugs could be developed in the future that could target this gene and reduce the frequency of cold sores.
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