Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Suggests Antibiotic May Prevent Dreaded Brain Fever

19.02.2008
Two researchers from National Brain Research Center (NBRC) suggest that a common antibiotic called minocycline may prevent children from death due to Japanese encephalitis (JE), commonly known as brain fever.

Japanese Encephalitis virus is the causative agent for JE. Although there is no consolidated official figure for JE cases in India, a rough estimate would indicate a few thousands fatalities every year.

The team found that minocycline, an USFDA approved drug, often used to treat acne, limits the death by reducing the microglial activation, neuronal death as well as viral replication. Microglia are cells that act as the "cleanup crew" for the Central Nervous System (CNS).

They destroy damaged cells by releasing toxins and engulfing them. Should they become activated and release their toxins in the CNS, the toxins will kill the healthy neurons critical for normal function of brain.

“Our studies in mice suggest that this antibiotic may be a strong candidate for further consideration as a therapeutic drug in patients with JE” said Anirban Basu, PhD, Staff Scientist and senior author of this work from NBRC, Manesar, Haryana. The study titled “Minocycline neuroprotects, reduces microglial activation, inhibits caspase-3 induction, and viral replication following Japanese Encephalitis” will be published in the future issue of Journal of Neurochemistry (www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/jnc), a journal of the International Society for Neurochemistry.

Previous studies from the same group have shown that following JE there was an increased production of cytokines, proteins that cause inflammation of the brain as well as death of neurons. This study goes a step further to show that minocycline is helpful in reducing the level of cytokines and neuronal death following JE. The major finding in this study is that treatment with minocycline provides a complete protection against experimental JE.

Minocycline’s neuroprotective action is associated with marked decrease in 1) neuronal death, 2) microgliosis and production of cytokine and 3) viral titre. Furthermore, treatment with minocycline also improves the behavioral outcome following JE.

“The most recent outbreak in Uttar Pradesh (concentrated in and around Gorakhpur belt, August-September, 2005) left behind more than one thousand dead, mostly children below 15 years of age” Dr Basu said. Vaccine made by Central Research Institute (CRI), Kasauli is a lyophilized preparation of infected mouse brain tissue. Due to this it is impossible to make it in mass quantity and as expected it is also expensive. Moreover it is only sixty percent efficacious even after multiple boosters. Dr Basu also noted that multiple boosters not only makes it further expensive but also makes the treatment regime difficult, especially for the follow-up booster doses. It is also noteworthy to mention that at least in India prevalence of JE is predominantly observed in rural/remote and socio economically backward parts of the country. As there are multiple pockets of JE epidemic persists in the country, sometimes it is logistically difficult to transport vaccines in larger quantities from CRI to the location of epidemic. On the other hand minocycline, a tetracycline is easily available in pharmacy or in a primary health care center, in even very rural and remote set up and it is also inexpensive.

“This study has shed more light on the processes that lead to death in children infected with JE virus" Dr Basu said. "We hope that these discoveries will lead to new treatments for JE, which remains a leading cause of death due to encephalitis in entire Asia-Pacific region. Department of Biotechnology is actively considering a clinical trial to use minocycline for JE patients. In addition to Dr Basu, Manoj Kumar Mishra a graduate student of NBRC is also involved in this study. This study is funded by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and NBRC is funded by Department of Biotechnology.

Melanie Thomson | alfa
Further information:
http://nbrc.ac.in/faculty/anirban.htm
http://www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Statistical method developed at TU Dresden allows the detection of higher order dependencies
07.02.2020 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Novel study underscores microbial individuality
13.12.2019 | Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Active droplets

21.02.2020 | Medical Engineering

Finding new clues to brain cancer treatment

21.02.2020 | Health and Medicine

Beyond the brim, Sombrero Galaxy's halo suggests turbulent past

21.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>