Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential new treatment for deadly Nipah and Hendra viruses; May also lead to new treatments for measles, mumps and influenza

Date:
October 28, 2010
Source:
Weill Cornell Medical College
Summary:
Scientists have identified a potential new treatment for the Nipah and Hendra viruses, two lethal and emerging viruses for which there is currently no treatment or vaccine available. The approach could also lead to new therapies for measles, mumps and the flu.

Scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College have identified a potential new treatment for the Nipah and Hendra viruses, two lethal and emerging viruses for which there is currently no treatment or vaccine available. The approach could also lead to new therapies for measles, mumps and the flu.

The new research appears in the online journal PLoS Pathogens, published by the Public Library of Science.

The Nipah and Hendra viruses are members of the genus Henipavirus, a new class of virus in the Paramyxoviridae family, which includes the measles and the human parainfluenza virus (HPIV) that causes pediatric respiratory disease. The henipaviruses are carried by fruit bats (flying foxes) and are capable of causing illness and death in domestic animals and humans.

"These viruses are of great concern. The Hendra virus is highly fatal and is a considered a potential agent of bioterrorism. It currently poses a serious threat to livestock in Australia, where sporadic and deadly transmission to humans has occurred, with the potential for broader dissemination," says Dr. Matteo Porotto, the study's lead author and assistant professor of microbiology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College. "And the Nipah virus, which causes fatal encephalitis in up to 70 percent of human cases, causes seasonal outbreaks in Asia with person-to-person transmission now becoming a primary mode of infection. This virus could certainly cause global outbreaks."

Dr. Porotto and colleagues present a new strategy to prevent and treat these infections that may be broadly applicable for other "enveloped" viral pathogens, characterized by an outer wrapping that comes from the infected host cell. The new treatment was successfully tested in an animal model demonstrating central nervous system symptoms similar to those seen in humans.

Dr. Anne Moscona, professor of pediatrics and microbiology & immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College, vice chair of pediatrics for research at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, chief of pediatric infectious diseases and co-corresponding author of the paper, says, "It's crucial that we find treatments for the Nipah and Hendra viruses. In addition to acute infection, they can cause asymptomatic infection in as many as 60 percent of exposed people. They may also lead to late-onset disease or relapse of encephalitis years after initial infection, as well as persistent or delayed neurological problems."

According to Dr. Porotto, it is difficult to treat these pathogens because their "envelope" helps the virus survive and infect other cells. "We know that enveloped viruses must fuse their membrane with the target cell membrane in order to initiate infection, and blocking this step can prevent or treat infection, as has been clinically validated for the HIV virus."

Building on their past work, the team demonstrated in this study that the addition of a cholesterol group to HRC peptides that are active against Nipah virus dramatically increases their antiviral effect. The approach works by using the cholesterol-tagged peptides to target the membrane where the fusion occurs. There, the peptides interact with the fusion peptide before it inserts into the target cell membrane, disrupting the crucial membrane fusion process and preventing infection.

"The cholesterol-tagged HRC-derived peptides cross the blood-brain barrier and help prevent and treat the infection in animals for what would otherwise be fatal Nipah virus encephalitis," Dr. Porotto reports. "This suggests that they are promising candidates for the prevention or therapy of infection by Nipah and other lethal paramyxoviruses and may lead to better treatments for people affected by similar viruses including the measles, mumps and the flu."

Additional co-authors include Christine C. Yokoyama, Aparna Talekar, Ilaria DeVito, Laura M Palermo and Min Lu from Weill Cornell Medical College; Barry Rockx and Heinz Feldmann from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT; Riccardo Cortese from CEINGE, Naples, Italy; and Antonello Pessi from PeptiPharma, Rome, Italy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Weill Cornell Medical College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matteo Porotto, Barry Rockx, Christine C Yokoyama, Aparna Talekar, Ilaria DeVito, Laura M Palermo, Jie Liu, Riccardo Cortese, Min Lu, Heinz Feldmann, Antonello Pessi, Anne Moscona. Inhibition of Nipah Virus Infection In Vivo: Targeting an Early Stage of Paramyxovirus Fusion Activation during Viral Entry. PLoS Pathogens, 2010; DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001168

Cite This Page:

Weill Cornell Medical College. "Potential new treatment for deadly Nipah and Hendra viruses; May also lead to new treatments for measles, mumps and influenza." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101028174554.htm>.
Weill Cornell Medical College. (2010, October 28). Potential new treatment for deadly Nipah and Hendra viruses; May also lead to new treatments for measles, mumps and influenza. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101028174554.htm
Weill Cornell Medical College. "Potential new treatment for deadly Nipah and Hendra viruses; May also lead to new treatments for measles, mumps and influenza." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101028174554.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

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
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
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. 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