Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New way to target viruses could make antiviral drugs more effective

Date:
July 21, 2010
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new way to target viruses which could increase the effectiveness of antiviral drugs. Instead of attacking the virus itself, the method developed at the University of Edinburgh alters the conditions which viruses need to survive and multiply.

Scientists have developed a new way to target viruses which could increase the effectiveness of antiviral drugs.

Instead of attacking the virus itself, the method developed at the University of Edinburgh alters the conditions which viruses need to survive and multiply.

By making the site of infection less hospitable for the virus, the virus becomes less able to mutate and build up resistance to drugs. The researchers were also able to target more than one virus at the same time.

Viruses take up residence in host cells within our body, which produce proteins that enable the virus to multiply and survive.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), analysed molecules known as microRNAs, which regulate how much of these proteins are made.

The scientists were able to manipulate the microRNA levels, which enabled them to control a network of proteins and stop viruses from growing.

Most existing antiviral therapies only work against one virus. However, by adapting the virus host environment the researchers were able to target different types of viruses.

It is hoped that the research could lead to new treatments for patients suffering from a range of infections.

Dr Amy Buck, of the University's Centre for Immunity, Infection & Evolution, said: "A problem with current antiviral therapies, which generally target the virus, is that viruses can mutate to become resistant. Since new viral strains emerge frequently, and many infections are difficult to diagnose and treat, it is important to find new ways of targeting infection. Our hope is that we will be able to use host-directed therapies to supplement the natural immune response and disable viruses by taking away what they need to survive."

Scientists studied the herpes family of viruses, which can also cause cancer with the Epstein-Barr virus, and the Semliki Forest virus, which is mainly spread by mosquitoes.

Both viruses have different characteristics. Viruses from the herpes family replicate inside the nuclei of cells, while the Semliki Forest multiplies outside the nucleus of a cell.

Further research has begun to look at how this method could be used to target influenza.

The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Diwakar Santhakumar, Thorsten Forster, Nouf N. Laqtom, Rennos Fragkoudis, Paul Dickinson, Cei Abreu-Goodger, Sergei A. Manakov, Nila Roy Choudhury, Samantha J. Griffiths, Annaleen Vermeulen, Anton J. Enright, Bernadette Dutia, Alain Kohl, Peter Ghazal, and Amy H. Buck. Combined agonist-antagonist genome-wide functional screening identifies broadly active antiviral microRNAs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1008861107

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "New way to target viruses could make antiviral drugs more effective." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719162649.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2010, July 21). New way to target viruses could make antiviral drugs more effective. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719162649.htm
University of Edinburgh. "New way to target viruses could make antiviral drugs more effective." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719162649.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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