Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research Could Lead To Treatment That Would Help Stop A Smallpox Outbreak

Date:
September 14, 2005
Source:
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Summary:
Researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LIAI) have made a major advancement toward protecting society against a smallpox outbreak by identifying an antibody in humans that quickly fights the smallpox virus.

SAN DIEGO (September 14, 2005) Researchers at the La Jolla Institutefor Allergy & Immunology (LIAI) have made a major advancementtoward protecting society against a smallpox outbreak by identifying anantibody in humans that quickly fights the smallpox virus.

Related Articles


"This is a very important finding because it has the potential to bean effective treatment for smallpox in humans and therefore could helpquickly stop a smallpox outbreak," said Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D, LIAIPresident. The finding is contained in a paper entitled "Vaccinia H3Lenvelope protein is a major target of neutralizing antibodies in humansand elicits protection against lethal challenge in mice" that waspublished in the September issue of the Journal of Virology. LIAIscientist Shane Crotty, Ph.D., a viral disease expert, led the team ofLIAI scientists which made the finding. Dr. D. Huw Davies and Dr. PhilFelgner of the University of California, Irvine Center for VaccineResearch were also major contributors.

Dr. Crotty and his team have discovered a protein in thesmallpox virus -- the H3 protein -- that elicits a particularly stronghuman antibody response. "Out of the 200 or so proteins contained inthe smallpox virus, we found that the H3 protein is a major target forantibodies that kill the virus," he said. No actual smallpox virus wasused in the studies in order to avoid any potential danger oftransmission.

Dr. Crotty made the findings by studying blood samples frompeople who had received the smallpox vaccine. "We used new techniquesthat we developed that made it easier to identify and isolateantibodies from the blood of immunized humans. Then we carefullyscreened for the antibodies that fight the smallpox virus," he said.The researchers then tested their findings by creating a batch of theanti-H3 protein antibodies, which they injected into mice. "We wereable to protect them from a strain of vaccinia pox virus that is verysimilar to smallpox and which is lethal to mice."

The National Institutes of Health is now funding furtherresearch by Dr. Crotty to better understand the molecular processessurrounding the finding. He said one focus of the research will be tofully develop anti-H3 antibodies in the lab that can be given tohumans. "We'll be working to further characterize and develop the useof this antibody as a treatment for smallpox," Dr. Crotty said.

The smallpox virus has been the subject of intense researchinterest worldwide in the last several years, prompted by bioterrorismconcerns. The virus was eradicated in the U.S. by 1950 and vaccinationsfor the general public were ended in 1972. But in the aftermath of9-11, new concerns have arisen that the smallpox virus could be used asa bioterrorist agent. Disease experts fear that samples of the smallpoxvirus may have fallen into the hands of terrorists at some point. Thisconcern has led to the creation of worldwide stockpiles of the smallpoxvaccine over the last several years.

Kronenberg said that if further study continues to validatethe safety and effectiveness of Dr. Crotty's finding, "we may one daysee high-quality batches of anti-H3 antibody stockpiled around theworld right along side the supplies of smallpox vaccine.

"While we do have a smallpox vaccine, there are concernsbecause people who are immuno-compromised cannot use the currentvaccine," he added, "including infants and the aged." Additionally, ifthere were a smallpox outbreak, there would be a certain time lapsebefore all people who have not been inoculated could receive thevaccine. Unlike the vaccine, the antibody would work to provideimmediate, although short-term protection, similar to how an antibiotictreats and for a short time protects against a bacterial infection.

"This makes Dr. Crotty's research even more interesting becausehis findings appear to offer a way to successfully treat the virus,"Kronenberg said. "This could be very important should people becomeinfected before they have a chance to be vaccinated."

###

About LIAI
Founded in 1988, the La Jolla Institute forAllergy and Immunology is a nonprofit medical research center dedicatedto increasing knowledge and improving human health through studies ofthe immune system. Scientists at the institute carry out researchsearching for cures for cancer, allergy and asthma, infectiousdiseases, and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, inflammatory boweldisease and arthritis. LIAI's research staff includes more than 100Ph.Ds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. "Research Could Lead To Treatment That Would Help Stop A Smallpox Outbreak." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050914104128.htm>.
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. (2005, September 14). Research Could Lead To Treatment That Would Help Stop A Smallpox Outbreak. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050914104128.htm
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology. "Research Could Lead To Treatment That Would Help Stop A Smallpox Outbreak." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050914104128.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) UN Resident Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr and WHO representative in the country Daniel Kertesz updated the media on the UN Ebola response on Wednesday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) The newest estimate of the cost of obesity is pretty jarring — $2 trillion. But how did researchers get to that number? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Sanborn family had hoped they'd be able to bring home their 5-year-old adopted son from Liberia by now. But Ebola has forced them to wait. The boy is just one of thousands of orphans in West Africa who've been impacted by the deadly virus. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins