Viral infections are a significant public health concern worldwide. The oral cavity is one of the primary sites of entry for many viruses. Infections such as herpes simplex virus (HSV), human papillomavirus (HPV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV) can cause a wide range of oral diseases, including cold sores, oral warts, and oral ulcers. These viral infections can also lead to more severe conditions, such as oral cancer.
Traditional methods of studying viral infections in the oral cavity involve the use of animal models or clinical trials. These methods can be time-consuming, expensive, and ethically challenging. MatTek Life Sciences specializes in developing and producing human cell-based in vitro models, such as EpiOral, which has been used extensively by researchers to model the human oral mucosa.
The EpiOral model has been used to study various aspects of oral health, including viral infections. In vitro models such as EpiOral offer a viable alternative for studying viral infections in a controlled laboratory environment. EpiOral consists of human oral keratinocytes cultured on a porous, collagen-coated membrane that mimics the structure of the oral mucosa. The cells in EpiOral form a multi-layered, stratified epithelium, closely resembling the structure and function of the human oral mucosa.
In a recent publication, researchers used EpiOral to study the infectivity and replication of HSV-1, a common cause of cold sores. The researchers found that EpiOral supported the replication of HSV-1. Evidenced by the detection of viral DNA and the expression of viral proteins in the cultured cells. The researchers also used EpiOral to evaluate the efficacy of an antiviral drug, acyclovir, in inhibiting the replication of HSV-1. They found that acyclovir significantly reduced viral replication in EpiOral, demonstrating the potential utility of EpiOral for preclinical drug testing.
Overall, these findings suggest that EpiOral is a useful in vitro model for studying viral infections in the oral cavity. The ability to study viral infections in a controlled laboratory environment can lead to a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of viral pathogenesis and the development of new therapies for viral diseases. Moreover, EpiOral has several advantages over traditional animal models or clinical trials. EpiOral is a human-based model, which better reflects the physiology and biology of human oral mucosa. Additionally, EpiOral is a cost-effective and high-throughput model, which allows for rapid screening of potential antiviral drugs.
The development of EpiOral represents a significant advance for studying viral infections in the oral cavity. The use of EpiOral can help researchers better understand the pathogenesis of viral infections and develop new treatments for oral viral diseases. As more research is conducted on EpiOral, it is likely that this model will become an increasingly valuable tool for studying oral health and disease.