Oral and genital herpes are 'having sex' and creating new viruses

Oral and genital herpes are 'having sex,' swapping DNA and could create harder-to-treat viruses, study finds Herpes 1, or oral herpes, and herpes 2, or genital herpes, were thought to have split off to become separate viruses millions of years ago  But new research from Washington University found that the two are having the viral equivalent of sex, and swapping DNA  The resulting viruses could render antiviral medications for genital herpes ineffective and make the creation of a vaccine for either even more difficult  

By Natalie Rahhal Deputy Health Editor For Dailymail.com

Published: 21:56 BST, 3 May 2019 | Updated: 21:56 BST, 3 May 2019

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Genital herpes and oral herpes are doing the viral equivalent of sex - and producing aggressive offspring, a new study suggests. 

About six million years ago, genital herpes and oral herpes went their separate ways and became distinct species - or so scientists thought. 

Now, it seems the two viruses are mixing it up again - quite literally - and combining their DNA to create recombinant viruses with traits of both strains. 

The results are new versions of the herpes virus that could render antiviral drugs that suppress genital herpes, or HSV 2, ineffective.  

DNA from herpes 1, which causes cold sores, is getting mixed up with DNA from genital herpes, or herpes 1. The products of this viral 'sex' may be harder to treat, study suggests (file)

DNA from herpes 1, which causes cold sores, is getting mixed up with DNA from genital herpes, or herpes 1. The products of this viral 'sex' may be harder to treat, study suggests (file)

Herpes 1, or oral herpes, is the more common viral strain, affecting about two-thirds of all people under 50.  

Oral herpes gets its name because, of course, it primarily causes sores or blisters around the lips. 

However, in the past couple of decades, it has

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