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This article is the author's final published version in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 25, Issue 7, April 2024, Article number 3839.

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Copyright © 2024 by the authors


Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a lifelong pathogen characterized by asymptomatic latent infection in the trigeminal ganglia (TG), with periodic outbreaks of cold sores caused by virus reactivation in the TG and subsequent replication in the oral mucosa. While antiviral therapies can provide relief from cold sores, they are unable to eliminate HSV-1. We provide experimental results that highlight non-thermal plasma (NTP) as a new alternative therapy for HSV-1 infection that would resolve cold sores faster and reduce the establishment of latent infection in the TG. Additionally, this study is the first to explore the use of NTP as a therapy that can both treat and prevent human viral infections. The antiviral effect of NTP was investigated using an in vitro model of HSV-1 epithelial infection that involved the application of NTP from two separate devices to cell-free HSV-1, HSV-1-infected cells, and uninfected cells. It was found that NTP reduced the infectivity of cell-free HSV-1, reduced viral replication in HSV-1-infected cells, and diminished the susceptibility of uninfected cells to HSV-1 infection. This triad of antiviral mechanisms of action suggests the potential of NTP as a therapeutic agent effective against HSV-1 infection.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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