Research discovered that kissing may have been responsible for the spread of cold sores as far back as the Bronze Age.
Despite the fact that the herpes virus has been there for millions of years, the researchers wanted to know when the HSV-1 strain emerged for the first time.
The HSV-1 strain of the herpes virus is thought to have originated some five thousand years ago amid massive migrations of humans from Eurasia to Europe. This research was conducted by scientists at the University of Cambridge.
Approximately 3.7 billion individuals throughout the globe are presently infected with the virus.
In order to get a better understanding of how viruses evolve, researchers have been looking at DNA samples that date back thousands of years.
According to the findings of the research, migration resulted in denser populations, which increased the likelihood of transmission, as well as new cultural habits such as kissing.
Herpes simplex virus 1, also known as HSV-1, is common among modern humans due to the ease with which it can spread and the fact that it is a disease that lasts a person’s entire life once they have been infected with it. The research team said that it had become the first to discover ancient genomes of the virus. According to the World Health Organization, the burden of stress is felt by two-thirds of the world’s population that is less than 50 years old. Despite this, finding ancient cases of HSV-1 has proven to be difficult.
Before, genetic data for herpes only dated back as far as 1925, but the researchers found four samples from human remains that ranged in age from one thousand years to one thousand and twenty-five.
The team was able to generate an approximate chronology of the development of the virus using the samples they collected.
The samples that were utilized in the study were obtained by the scientists by collecting viral DNA from the roots of the teeth of four different people.
Oral transmission is the mode of transmission for herpes of the face, and experts have identified a text from the Bronze Age in South Asia as the source of the oldest account of kissing.
Researchers suspected that the Roman Emperor Tiberius’s efforts to limit the transmission of illness by banning kissing at official ceremonies may have been connected to herpes. Tiberius’s efforts occurred several centuries later.