Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research milestone in CCHF virus could help identify new treatments

19.09.2014

New research into the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), a tick-borne virus which causes a severe hemorrhagic disease in humans similar to that caused by Ebolavirus, has identified new cellular factors essential for CCHFV infection. This discovery has the potential to lead to novel targets for therapeutic interventions against the pathogen.

The research, reported in a paper published today in the journal PLoS Pathogens and conducted by scientists at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute and their colleagues, represents a milestone in efforts to develop a treatment for CCHFV, which has a fatality rate approaching 30%.

"This new research is the first to indicate where the virus penetrates into the cell to infect it, revealing the site at which a drug therapy would need to act," said Robert Davey, Ph.D., of the Texas Biomed Department of Virology and Immunology, who led the research.

The virus is endemic to much of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and recent studies have detected CCHFV in ticks collected in Spain, indicating that the virus continues to spread. CCHFV killed a US Army serviceman stationed in Afghanistan in 2009, and was initially mistaken for Ebolavirus.

CCHFV is primarily transmitted to people from ticks and from infected livestock during the slaughtering process, although human-to-human transmission can occur from close contact with blood or other fluids from infected persons. There are no widely accepted therapies available to prevent or treat the disease.

Virus entry into the cell is the first and critical step in the virus replication cycle. To better understand the pathway for infection, researchers sought to identify cell proteins controlling CCHFV transport through the cell.

Dr. Olena Shtanko, a postdoctoral scientist in the lab, demonstrated that after passing through early endosomes, membrane-bound vesicles within cells, the virus is delivered to multivesicular bodies which are made from large collections of these vesicles. Findings suggested that these multivesicular bodies are critical for infection by CCHFV, being the sites where the virus first penetrates into the cytoplasm to start replicating and taking over the cell.

"The next step in the process is to now identify drugs that can prevent interaction of the virus with the multivesicular bodies" Davey said.

Several new drug candidates are presently being tested by Shtanko with promising results.

Several other important viruses, like influenza virus (cause of the flu) and Lassa fever virus also use multivesicular bodies to infect cells. The identified drugs have the potential to be developed into broad spectrum antiviral treatments.

###

The research was funded by the Ewing Halsell Foundation, Douglass Foundation and the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). In addition to Davey and Shtanko, co-authors of the PLoS Pathogens article included Raisa Nikitina and Alexander Chepurnov of the Institute for Clinical Immunology in Novosibirsk, Russian Federation, and Cengiz Altuntas of the Texas Institute of Biotechnology Education and Research at the North American University in Houston.

Texas Biomed, formerly the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, is one of the world's leading independent biomedical research institutions dedicated to advancing health worldwide through innovative biomedical research. Located on a 200-acre campus on the northwest side of San Antonio, Texas, the Institute partners with hundreds of researchers and institutions around the world to study the genetics of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, psychiatric disorders and other diseases, and to develop vaccines and therapeutics against viral pathogens causing AIDS, hepatitis, herpes, Ebola virus and other hemorrhagic fever viruses, and parasitic diseases responsible for malaria, schistosomiasis and Chagas disease. For more information on Texas Biomed, go to http://www.TxBiomed.org.

Lisa Cruz | Eurek Alert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ambush in a petri dish
24.11.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>