Spanish researchers conducted an exhaustive review, published this month in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, of scientific articles highlighting a possible link between COVID-19 vaccination and Herpesviridae (herpes) co-infection or reactivation.
They looked at the link between the COVID jab and each member of the Herpesviridae family: Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) types-1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2); Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV); Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV); Cytomegalovirus (CMV); HHV-6; HHV-7; and HHV-8.
Human Herpesviruses are part of a family of DNA viruses that cause several diseases in humans.
The authors conducted a literature search in PubMed, a search engine database maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, using the following terms: “COVID-19,” “SARS-CoV-2,” “COVID-19 Vaccines,” “human herpesviruses,” “human herpes virus,” “varicella-zoster virus,” “Epstein-Barr virus,” “cytomegalovirus,” “human herpes virus 1,” “human herpes virus 2,” “human herpes virus 6,” “human herpes virus 7,” and “human herpes virus 8.”
Articles in English or Spanish were accepted.
The study authors state that while herpesviruses can become reactivated after COVID-19 infection and that herpesviruses may even be to blame for some of the symptoms initially attributed to COVID infection, vaccines themselves “appear capable” of reactivating herpes, too.
The authors note that the studies they examined “have proposed the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may induce reactivation of different subtypes of these human herpesvirus.”
In fact, the authors, who looked at data regarding vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson, write that “all corresponding vaccines approved to date in Europe appear capable of inducing herpesvirus reactivation.”
The researchers emphasize that, for doctors, it is “important to consider all viruses of the Herpesviridae family when managing patients infected with or recently vaccinated against COVID-19.”