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 Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State

nachricht How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>