A newly developed inhibitory substance against the measles virus may protect individuals already infected from the disease and prevent the spreading of the virus. The inhibitory substance which can be administered in tablet form reduces the viral burden in animals infected with a virus which is closely related to the measles virus. Besides, it also protects the animals from a fatal course of the disease. In its online edition of Wednesday, 16th April (20:00 MEZ) Science Translational Medicine reports on research results from scientists at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut and Georgia State University
Despite world-wide efforts to eradicate the disease, measles outbreaks still occur time and again among the German population due to incomplete vaccination rates. In 2013 alone, 1775 measles cases in Germany were reported to the Robert-Koch-Institute. Against this background, an inhibitory substance would be helpful which protects the patient after an infection with the virus and reduces the risk of further spreading of the virus.
Professor R. Plemper of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA, and colleagues have developed a low-molecular inhibitory substance against the measles virus, which is available for oral administration and could be administered in tablet form. The active substance, called ERDRP-0159, inhibits RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, which is indispensable for the replication of the virus.
Up to now, the development of a suitable inhibitory substance against virus has barely been possible because a suitable animal model for efficacy testing was not available. Dr Veronika von Messling, head of the Veterinary Medicine Division of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, and colleagues have succeeded in establishing an animal model in the ferret for this purpose. This project forms part of the institute’s involvement in the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF).
The research group used a very close relative of the measles virus, the canine distemper virus (CDV) for their experiments. Like the measles virus, this virus belongs to the family of morbilliviruses. An infection with this virus will lead to fatal outcome in ferrets. However, if the animals were treated with the inhibitory substance for 14 days as from the third day after the infection, all ferrets survived the virus infection. Besides, the treatment, which was very well tolerated by the animals, conferred the development of immune protection against the measles virus. A new infection with the virus did not cause disease.
The most important obstacle to be overcome in the development of medicines against viruses is that the virus frequently develops resistance. Experiments with some virus variants showed that the infectious disease induced by them was attenuated or the course of the infection was slowed down. Dr Messing explains the results: “Our experiments allow us to forecast that such resistance development would not spread among the population – especially based on the fact that the measles outbreaks are as a rule locally restricted because the major part of the population has been vaccinated”.
The results obtained so far give rise to optimism. However, there are still some important questions to be answered. Thus, it must still be established whether treatment with the inhibitory substance against the measles will also confer immunity against the virus in humans after treatment, or whether subsequent vaccination would be necessary to assure long-term protection against a measles infection.
Original publication: Krumm SA, Yan D, Hovingh E, Evers TJ, Enkirch T, Reddy GP, Sun A, Saindane MT, Arrendale RF, Painter G, Liotta DC, Natchus MG, von Messling V, Plemper RK (2014). Orally Available Small-Molecule Polymerase Inhibitor Cures a Lethal Morbillivirus Infection.
The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines in Langen near Frankfurt/Main, is a senior federal authority reporting to the Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit, BMG). It is responsible for the research, assessment, and marketing authorisation of biomedicines for human use and veterinary vaccines. Its remit also includes the authorisation of clinical trials and pharmacovigilance, i.e. recording and evaluation of potential adverse effects. Other duties of the institute include official batch control, scientific advice and inspections.
In-house experimental research in the field of biomedicines and life science form an indispensable basis for the varied and many tasks performed at the institute. The PEI, with its roughly 800 staff, also has advisory functions at a national level (federal government, federal states (Länder)), and at an international level (World Health Organisation, European Medicines Agency, European Commission, Council of Europe etc.).
http://www.dzif.de German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF)
http://www.pei.de/EN/information/journalists-press/press-releases/press-releases... Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Press releases
Dr. Susanne Stöcker | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife
Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering