Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rinderpest and peste des petits ruminants: a future treatment centring on interfering RNA

22.12.2006
A therapeutic vaccine to treat rinderpest and peste des petits ruminants... a major step forward for the countries faced with these extremely infectious viral diseases, which can wipe out entire herds.

In regions with a large animal production sector, the viruses that cause these diseases - of the genus Morbillivirus - have significant repercussions on the local economy and food security: in Senegal, the economic impact of a peste des petits ruminants focus was estimated in 1996 at 80 000 euros over three months.

Rinderpest affects domestic cattle, buffaloes and yaks, but also sheep, goats and some pig races, along with a whole range of wild species. Despite a sustained blanket preventive vaccination campaign that has almost wiped out the disease on a global level, there are still some persistent infection foci in the Somali ecosystem. And there is no cure. As regards peste des petits ruminants, which affects sheep and goats, it is found in Africa, on the Arabian Peninsula, in the Middle East and in India. The available preventive vaccines are effective, but still have some drawbacks, such as their low heat resistance. There is no therapeutic treatment against this disease either.

Since early 2005, CIRAD has been developing a new control method against these diseases, based on a novel technique derived from molecular genetics. This new approach centres on a natural biological mechanism: "RNA interference", which usually allows multicellular organisms to control the level of expression of some of their genes. The process involves short RNA fragments capable of preventing the reading and translation into proteins of the genetic code carried by DNA: the fragments are known as interfering RNA. They prevent the RNA playing its fundamental role as a messenger of the information contained in the genes with a view to protein production. In effect, so-called interfering RNA links specifically to the target messenger RNA, resulting in the latter's deterioration and consequently inhibiting expression of the corresponding protein.

Interfering RNA inhibits more than 80% of virus replication

CIRAD researchers have recently identified three synthetic interfering RNAs capable of inhibiting more than 80% of peste des petits ruminants and rinderpest virus replication in vitro. They are targeted at the messenger RNA of the nucleoprotein gene of the viruses that cause the diseases, blocking the virus multiplication process. An application was made for a patent on the results concerning these new biological antivirals in December 2005.

The second phase of the research has now begun: in vivo tests of the new generation of antivirals on infected animals. To this end, the plan is to transfer the interfering RNA to infected animals through a viral vector generally used as a vaccine. If this is indeed seen to inhibit virus replication in the diseased animals, this would open the way for the development of therapeutic vaccines against rinderpest and peste des petits ruminants. The work is due to last for five years, and should make it possible to provide farmers with a safe, effective vaccine.

The results look very promising, and open up vast prospects in terms of animal health. They could be of interest for other viruses such as bird flu or African swine fever. For this last disease, using RNA interference as a control method would be a major step forward, as there is not currently any preventive vaccine.

Helen Burford | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cirad.fr/en/actualite/communique.php?id=582

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Faba fix for corn's nitrogen need
11.04.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops
09.04.2018 | John Innes Centre

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>