A new treatment developed by the University of Exeter, which uses the same process used to treat skin cancers, could help control the spread of the virus, which causes about 10 per cent of cases.
The treatment is known as finacea foam, and uses a new type of foam known as urethanes.
urethanes are an alternative to traditional foams.
urea, a water-soluble polymer, is used to make urethaned foam.
The new gel, developed by researchers at the University’s Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, works by breaking down the urethrene to create an oily substance called finacea.
This allows the foam to stick to the skin without breaking down.
The foam is then applied topically and the surface cleansed by a process known as buffering.
ureas is the same substance used to produce latex condoms, and it is produced by the chemical industry.
This means that it is also environmentally friendly and less polluting than latex condoms.
The team’s findings, published in the journal Molecular Medicine, suggest that the treatment can be used as an adjuvant therapy for herpes simplex virus (HSV), which is a common cold-like virus that can be spread by coughing or sneezing.
The researchers found that the gel worked by blocking the growth of herpes simple x virus (HCV) in the human body.
They also showed that it did not interfere with the normal functions of the immune system.
The gel has also been shown to be effective in treating ulcerative colitis and psoriasis, but there is still much to be done before it could be used in the UK.
Dr David Gossage, from the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the university, said: “Finacea foam has shown to have good efficacy in suppressing HSV in a clinical trial, but until we know if it will work in the real world, we need to look at whether it will be safe and effective in humans.”
Dr Gossages team, which includes the School of Biological Sciences, Department of Immunology and Biochemistry, Department, Molecular Biology, and the Department, Infectious Diseases, added: “We think it is very exciting that we have been able to show that finacea foams work as a treatment against HSV-1 and HSV2, but we need a long-term clinical trial before we can be sure that this will be effective.”
The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NICE), the Medical Research Council (MRC), the British Medical Research Institute (BMRI), the National Health Service Research Council, and grants from the Medical Science and Engineering Research Council and the National Trust.
Dr Gossela said: ‘This is a promising development and is an exciting opportunity to develop a novel vaccine against HSVP, which is responsible for a third of the new cases of HSV globally each year.’
We hope that the findings can lead to the development of a vaccine that will be more effective in preventing HSV than currently available treatments and that the vaccine will be safer than current treatments for HSV.’
Dr Goulds team is now studying whether the gel works in people with a history of herpes and other conditions, such as psoropharyngitis, ulceration and ulcerate papillary cysts.
He said: ”We are currently conducting a series of clinical trials in people in this group.”
This work was supported by the NICE, the MRC, the Medical Technology Assessment Office, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council UK and the European Research Council.
Dr Moulds said: