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 Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

nachricht Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing
20.06.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>