Scientists in the US have developed a cream that could prevent genital herpes from spreading from an infected person to a new host. The cream, which has been successfully tested on mice, prevents the infection from replicating in a new person.

Herpes is caused by the virus herpes simplex (HSV) and there are two types of the infection; HSV 1 and HSV 2. HSV 1 is typically associated with cold sores or whitlows (sores on the hands and fingers), and HSV 2 is associated with genital sores, but both types can produce genital blisters.

The cream, which was developed at the Harvard Medical School, stops the virus from replicating and it is hoped that the cream will be developed for human use in the near future.

Professor Judy Lieberman, who led the research said: “This aspect has a real practicality to it. If we can reproduce these results in people, this could have a powerful impact on preventing transmission.”

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