Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potential new treatment for deadly nipah and hendra viruses identified by Weill Cornell researchers

29.10.2010
Finding may also lead to new treatments for measles, mumps and influenza

Scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College have identified a potential new treatment for the Nipah and Hendra viruses, two lethal and emerging viruses for which there is currently no treatment or vaccine available.

The approach could also lead to new therapies for measles, mumps and the flu. The new research appears in today's edition of the prestigious journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) Pathogens.

The Nipah and Hendra viruses are members of the genus Henipavirus, a new class of virus in the Paramyxoviridae family, which includes the measles and the human parainfluenza virus (HPIV) that causes pediatric respiratory disease. The henipaviruses are carried by fruit bats (flying foxes) and are capable of causing illness and death in domestic animals and humans.

"These viruses are of great concern. The Hendra virus is highly fatal and is a considered a potential agent of bioterrorism. It currently poses a serious threat to livestock in Australia, where sporadic and deadly transmission to humans has occurred, with the potential for broader dissemination," says Dr. Matteo Porotto, the study's lead author and assistant professor of microbiology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College. "And the Nipah virus, which causes fatal encephalitis in up to 70 percent of human cases, causes seasonal outbreaks in Asia with person-to-person transmission now becoming a primary mode of infection. This virus could certainly cause global outbreaks."

Dr. Porotto and colleagues present a new strategy to prevent and treat these infections that may be broadly applicable for other "enveloped" viral pathogens, characterized by an outer wrapping that comes from the infected host cell. The new treatment was successfully tested in an animal model demonstrating central nervous system symptoms similar to those seen in humans.

Dr. Anne Moscona, professor of pediatrics and microbiology & immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College, vice chair of pediatrics for research at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, chief of pediatric infectious diseases and co-corresponding author of the paper, says, "It's crucial that we find treatments for the Nipah and Hendra viruses. In addition to acute infection, they can cause asymptomatic infection in as many as 60 percent of exposed people. They may also lead to late-onset disease or relapse of encephalitis years after initial infection, as well as persistent or delayed neurological problems."

According to Dr. Porotto, it is difficult to treat these pathogens because their "envelope" helps the virus survive and infect other cells. "We know that enveloped viruses must fuse their membrane with the target cell membrane in order to initiate infection, and blocking this step can prevent or treat infection, as has been clinically validated for the HIV virus."

Building on their past work, the team demonstrated in this study that the addition of a cholesterol group to HRC peptides that are active against Nipah virus dramatically increases their antiviral effect. The approach works by using the cholesterol-tagged peptides to target the membrane where the fusion occurs. There, the peptides interact with the fusion peptide before it inserts into the target cell membrane, disrupting the crucial membrane fusion process and preventing infection.

"The cholesterol-tagged HRC-derived peptides cross the blood-brain barrier and help prevent and treat the infection in animals for what would otherwise be fatal Nipah virus encephalitis," Dr. Porotto reports. "This suggests that they are promising candidates for the prevention or therapy of infection by Nipah and other lethal paramyxoviruses and may lead to better treatments for people affected by similar viruses including the measles, mumps and the flu."

Additional co-authors include Christine C. Yokoyama, Aparna Talekar, Ilaria DeVito, Laura M Palermo and Min Lu from Weill Cornell Medical College; Barry Rockx and Heinz Feldmann from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT; Riccardo Cortese from CEINGE, Naples, Italy; and Antonello Pessi from PeptiPharma, Rome, Italy.

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances -- including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston, making Weill Cornell one of only two medical colleges in the country affiliated with two U.S.News & World Report Honor Roll hospitals. For more information, visit www.med.cornell.edu.

Andrek Klein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

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

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>