The results of the study, being published in the September 1 issue of the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science and available online now, have significant implications for the treatment and prevention of eye diseases caused by adenovirus infections, such as conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pinkeye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids. Although typically a mild, self-limiting disease in children and adults, newborns are particularly susceptible to pinkeye and can be more prone to serious health complications, even blindness, if it goes untreated. The most common cause of conjunctivitis is adenovirus infection. Unfortunately, current treatments for conjunctivitis are not specifically targeted to the virus, and, presently, there is no FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of adenoviral-mediated eye infections.
In the study, led by Andrea Gambotto, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the researchers investigated the antiviral activity of gamma globulin (Ig) on human “wild-type” adenovirus as well as adenovirus subtypes isolated from patients diagnosed with viral eye infections. Specifically, they investigated the ability of Ig to neutralize these various adenovirus strains in both cell cultures infected with adenovirus and in rabbits with conjunctivitis.
In the cell culture (in vitro) studies, less than 10 milligrams per milliliter (mg/ml) of Ig significantly neutralized all of the wild-type strains of adenovirus, and the same concentration of Ig also neutralized almost 90 percent of the various adenovirus subtypes isolated from patients with eye infections.
In the animal (in vivo) studies using topical Ig, all of the animals tested tolerated the Ig extremely well, without displaying any irritation even at high dosages. More importantly, Ig neutralized adenovirus at least as well as cidofovir, another antiviral drug that proved to be a potent inhibitor of adenovirus eye infections in early trials but was never approved by the FDA due to unacceptable side effects. According to the investigators, Ig was “remarkably effective,” during the early phase of infection (days 1-5) as demonstrated by the significant reduction in daily levels of virus in eye fluids compared to eye fluids obtained from control animals administered only saline.
Although this is the first study to ever demonstrate Ig’s ability to block adenoviral-mediated eye infections, Dr. Gambotto is only slightly surprised by the results. “We use this compound in our laboratory on a regular basis to block the activity of the adenoviruses that we use in gene therapy experiments. So, we were pretty sure it would have some antiviral effects. We were not prepared, however, for it to be effective against so many strains and to demonstrate almost no toxicity,” he explained.
Because conjunctivitis is so contagious, Dr. Gambotto and his investigators believe that topical Ig may be of value in many settings, including ophthalmology units in hospitals, pediatric units, community clinics and in global public health programs. Furthermore, due to its broad spectrum of antimicrobial properties, they believe that topical ocular application of Ig may be effective against other viral and bacterial causes of conjunctivitis.
Jim Swyers | EurekAlert!
Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State
NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences