Study: Herpes Vaccine Not Effective As Presumed


A new study, published this morning in the New England Journal of Medicine, reveals that a widely used vaccine against herpes has failed in a large clinical trial. The vaccine has been used primarily to reduce the risk of genital herpes viruses in women who are in so-called seriodiscordant couples, in which one partner had the virus and the other didn't.

But the study indicates that the vaccine's efficacy was only 20 percent. Research revealed the vaccine had some effectiveness against herpes simplex-1 but not against herpes simplex-2, which recurs more than HSV-1. The study followed more than 8,000 women, ages 18-30.

"It's the reason we do clinical trials," said Dr. Peter Leone of the University of North Carolina, who co-authored the study. "We're really disappointed by the results."