Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Promising Antimicrobial Attacks Virus, Stimulates Immune System

Date:
June 5, 2009
Source:
National Jewish Medical and Research Center
Summary:
A promising antimicrobial agent already known to kill bacteria can also kill viruses and stimulate the innate immune system, according to researchers.

A promising antimicrobial agent already known to kill bacteria can also kill viruses and stimulate the innate immune system, according to researchers at National Jewish Health. In a paper appearing online June 4 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Michael Howell, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, and his colleagues demonstrated that the synthetic compound CSA-13 can kill vaccinia virus in cell cultures and in mice. Additionally, they showed that CSA-13 stimulates cells to produce their own antimicrobial proteins.

Related Articles


"This compound is demonstrating broad effectiveness," said Dr. Howell. "While our experiments were designed to test its ability to attack the vaccinia virus, its immune-stimulating ability was a surprising observation."

CSA-13 is one of a class of compounds known as ceragenins, which were developed by Brigham Young University Professor Paul Savage to mimic antimicrobial proteins that occur naturally in the body. The ceragenins are smaller than antimicrobial proteins, and are not as vulnerable to degradation in the body. They have previously been shown to be effective against a variety of bacterial species.

Dr. Howell and his colleagues wanted to learn if CSA-13 could fight vaccinia virus infections. Vaccinia virus is closely related to the organism that causes smallpox and is used in smallpox vaccines. However, millions of people in the United States who have had eczema are susceptible to a serious and potentially fatal complication of the vaccination, known as eczema vaccinatum, which occurs when the vaccinia virus infects the skin. Dr. Howell is part of a team, led by Professor of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Donald Leung, MD, PhD, that is seeking protection against this complication so that eczema patients could receive the vaccination in case of a bioterrorist attack with smallpox.

CSA-13 demonstrated effectiveness against vaccinia in three different tests. When CSA-13 and vaccinia virus were directly incubated together, the CSA-13 killed more than 96% of the virus at a 25 micromolar concentration. When CSA-13 was added to cells infected with vaccinia, it both reduced vaccinia virus gene expression and allowed more of the infected cells to survive. Finally, the researchers infected immune-compromised mice with vaccinia virus, then applied CSA-13 onto their skin. The CSA-13 reduced the number of skin lesions caused by vaccinia virus.

"These experiments definitively showed for the first time CSA-13 can effectively fight vaccinia virus infections," said senior author Dr. Leung.

Within their experiments, the researchers found that, in addition to directly killing the virus, CSA-13 also stimulated cells to produce their own antimicrobial proteins, LL-37 and HBD-3. Dr. Howell and colleagues have previously shown that these antimicrobial proteins also exhibit antiviral activity against vaccinia virus.

"We knew from our plaque assays, that CSA-13 was directly killing the virus," said Dr. Howell. "But these experiments show that it also stimulates cells to produce their own antimicrobial proteins, which contribute to its disease-fighting capabilities. Our next step is to learn how CSA-13 stimulates cells' own innate immune defenses."

This research was funded entirely by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Jewish Medical and Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Jewish Medical and Research Center. "Promising Antimicrobial Attacks Virus, Stimulates Immune System." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090604095121.htm>.
National Jewish Medical and Research Center. (2009, June 5). Promising Antimicrobial Attacks Virus, Stimulates Immune System. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090604095121.htm
National Jewish Medical and Research Center. "Promising Antimicrobial Attacks Virus, Stimulates Immune System." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090604095121.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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