Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Immunology: Vaccine hope for virile virus

05.07.2012
Exploiting the early immune response in Chikungunya fever promises to provide protection.

Chikungunya fever is a viral disease that has re-emerged to cause epidemics in the Pacific region within the last decade. It is caused by the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), which is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes symptoms including fever, rash and joint pain.


A*STAR researchers have shown that the antibody produced in the initial immune response to CHIKV recognizes the protein E2 and binds to a specific site called E2EP3, seen here in red. This site projects from the surface of the virus, making it easily accessible to the antibody. © 2012 EMBO Molecular Medicine

It can be incapacitating, with some patients developing severe chronic symptoms, and it is sometimes fatal. The main current control measure is to prevent exposure to mosquitoes; a vaccine would reduce the threat of CHIKV.

Lisa Ng of the A*STAR Singapore Immunology Network and co-workers have now provided insight into the natural immune response that may help in developing a vaccine. Ng’s group showed previously that the initial immune response to CHIKV is spearheaded by a specific class of antibody that disables the virus when bound to it. Their latest research reveals a way to exploit this clinically.

Working with clinicians at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Ng and her team took blood samples from CHIKV-infected patients and tested them to see if they contained any antibodies that recognize proteins from the surface of the virus. They found that at early stages of recovery, patients’ blood contained large amounts of an antibody that targets a protein known as E2, which projects from the surface of CHIKV (see image). The same antibody was found in different groups of patients, showing that it is a reliable indicator of early infection.

The team confirmed that this antibody neutralizes CHIKV by adding blood samples to virus which was then used to infect susceptible human cells. If the blood samples contained the antibody, infection rates were reduced, whereas removing the antibody from the samples beforehand left infection rates high.

Having identified that the antibody recognizes E2, the researchers then tested its ability to recognize fragments of the protein. This allowed identification of the epitope, or the exact site on the protein, that the antibody binds to, which they called E2EP3.

When they vaccinated mice with a protein fragment equivalent to this epitope, the mice produced the same antibody in response. On subsequent infection with CHIKV, the vaccinated mice also showed milder symptoms, making the epitope a promising basis for a future vaccine in humans.

“[This study is] highly relevant for the rational design of CHIKV vaccines and for the development of diagnostics for optimal clinical management of patients,” says Ng. “It may also inspire similar studies with other arthritic arboviruses that in many parts of the world cause severe morbidity with extensive incapacitation.”

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Singapore Immunology Network and the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R)

References:

Kam, Y-W et al. Early neutralizing IgG response to Chikungunya virus in infected patients targets a dominant linear epitope on the E2 glycoprotein. EMBO Molecular Medicine 4, 1–14 (2012). (Direct link to article below)

A*STAR Research | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>