Great Barrier Reef seeks cold sore remedy
The Great Barrier Reef needs a cold sore remedy, according to scientists, because the stress of pollution, global warming and other environmental pressures is making the World Heritage listed site vulnerable to the herpes virus.
Just as in humans, coral reefs are thought to be prone to ‘cold sore outbreaks’ when under stress. This is a picture recently confirmed by a research team from Oregon State University which found that incidence of the herpes virus grew exponentially when coral populations experienced ‘bleaching events’ – such as the that currently being seen in the Great Barrier Reef.
Experts say that the planet’s oceans are currently in the throes of a mass bleaching, due in part to rising ocean temperatures, pollution, acidification and viral outbreaks.
Marine viruses abound in the ocean and the ancient herpes viruses have been found in sea mammals, marine invertebrates, oysters, corals and other animals since testing began.
Strictly speaking, coral reefs do not suffer from cold sores, but because most are afflicted with retroviruses and megaviruses that are part of the herpes family, it is fair to say that just like you they may be in need of an effective cold sore remedy.
“This research suggests that viral infection could be an important part of the problem that until now has been undocumented and has received very little attention,” said Rebecca Vega-Thurber, an assistant professor of microbiology in Oregon State’s College of Science.
Thurber added that people all over the globe are concerned about the survival of coral in the long-term.