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 New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp
24.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>