The herpes simplex virus can hide deep in your DNA, evading your immune system for years, and sometimes make it to space by hitching onto the backs of astronauts and reactivating on the ISS. What is it about space that causes its comeback?

Did NASA’s Twin Study Results Just Change Spaceflight Forever? –

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Herpes Virus Reactivation in Astronauts During Spaceflight and Its Application on Earth

“There is increasing evidence to suggest that these spaceflight-associated stressors chronically amplify the release of stress hormones, which negatively affects the immune system, especially the adaptive immune system facilitating latent herpes virus reactivation during and after spaceflight. Increased levels of salivary, plasma and urinary stress hormones such as cortisol and catecholamines commonly accompany spaceflight”

Virus reactivation: a panoramic view in human infections

“With regard to future therapies, current inhibitors for pathways such as MAPK/NF-κB are unspecific, as they inhibit activity in both host and infected cells. We propose that a strategy for effective antiviral therapies would be to design specifically regulated inhibitors that do not lower signaling below functional physiological levels. By doing so, we can ensure that the activity of such signaling molecules is not reduced below threshold levels in uninfected or tumor cells. ”

How herpesvirus invades nervous system

“Northwestern Medicine scientists have identified a component of the herpesvirus that “hijacks” machinery inside human cells, allowing the virus to rapidly and successfully invade the nervous system upon initial exposure.”


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