3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine increases susceptiblity to genital herpes simplex virus infection in mice

Jeffry W. Pennock, Rachael Stegall, Marcy J. Bubar, Gregg Milligan, Kathryn A. Cunningham, Nigel Bourne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Abused by >1.2 million Americans, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) (commonly referred to as ecstasy) is popular in the dance club, rave, and circuit party scenes. MDMA and other similar drugs are reportedly associated with increased incidence of sexually transmitted infectious diseases, such as AIDS and genital herpes, and may have immunological effects. In the present study, we demonstrate that MDMA causes increased susceptibility to herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in mice and earlier onset of genital herpes. We also demonstrate that MDMA has an effect on the cytokines of the innate immune system-both systemically and, for the first time, in the genital tract. These data suggest that MDMA may play an important biological role in infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1247-1250
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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