Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene-specific Ebola therapies protect non-human primates from lethal disease

16.01.2006


Scientists have developed a successful strategy for interfering with Ebola virus infection that protected 75 percent of nonhuman primates exposed to the lethal disease. This is the first successful antiviral intervention against filoviruses like Ebola in nonhuman primates. The findings could serve as the basis for a new approach to quickly develop virus-specific therapies for known, emerging, and genetically engineered pathogens.



In today’s online issue of the journal Public Library of Science Pathogens, a research team led by Sina Bavari and colleagues at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) reports using novel "antisense" drugs to interrupt normal Ebola virus replication. The work was performed in collaboration with AVI BioPharma, a U.S. biotechnology firm.

According to the study’s authors, antisense drugs are useful against viral diseases because they are designed to enter cells and eliminate viruses by preventing their replication. The drugs, which act by blocking critical viral genetic sequences, may be more potent than anti-virals such as protease inhibitors, which seek to inhibit a protein needed for viral replication.


Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever with case fatality rates as high as 80 percent in humans. The virus, which is infectious by aerosol (although more commonly spread through blood and bodily fluids of infected patients), is of concern both as a global health threat and a potential agent of biological warfare or terrorism. Currently there are no available vaccines or therapies.

"One advantage of this strategy is that it directly targets the virus," said the paper’s first author, Kelly L. Warfield. "With Ebola infection, the virus grows so fast that it overtakes the host immune system. What we did, essentially, was to hold off the viral replication long enough for the host to mount an immune response and clear the virus."

Working with a class of compounds known as antisense phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers, or PMOs, the team first performed a series of studies to identify PMOs that demonstrated activity against Ebola virus. Next, three of the PMOs were tested in mice, both individually and in combination. The combination of all three was found to be the most effective therapeutic approach in mice, whether the PMOs were administered before or after Ebola infection. Combination therapy was also tested in guinea pigs, where it appeared to be most effective when administered after infection.

To further evaluate the efficacy of the three-PMO combination, four rhesus monkeys were treated with the drug two days prior to Ebola virus exposure. Three of the four were protected from Ebola infection.

"These results, while preliminary, are very encouraging," said Colonel George W. Korch, USAMRIID commander, "especially when you consider that Ebola virus has, to date, been fairly intractable to effective treatment. We look forward to additional findings of success using these PMOs."

Caree Vander Linden | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.us.army.mil
http://www.usamriid.army.mil
http://www.avibio.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates
20.08.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>