Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New therapy protects monkeys from Hendra virus

Date:
October 20, 2011
Source:
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Summary:
A new treatment for the deadly Hendra virus has proven successful in primate tests -- a major step forward in combating the virus, which kills about 60 percent of those it infects and has been implicated in sporadic outbreaks in Australia ever since it was first identified in 1994.

A new treatment for the deadly Hendra virus has proven successful in primate tests -- a major step forward in combating the virus, which kills about 60 percent of those it infects and has been implicated in sporadic outbreaks in Australia ever since it was first identified in 1994.

Related Articles


Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institutes of Health, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, and the Boston University School of Medicine teamed up to develop and test the new therapy, in a project primarily supported by a grant awarded to UTMB professor Thomas Geisbert by the NIAID.

Experiments were conducted at RML in a biosafety level 4 "spacesuit" lab, because no licensed vaccine or therapy currently exists for Hendra. Researchers infected 14 African green monkeys -- chosen because their response to Hendra is very similar to that of humans -- with the virus. At varying time intervals after infection, 12 of the monkeys were then given doses of a human antibody designated m102.4, which had been specially selected for its affinity for Hendra.

Earlier test tube and small-animal experiments by USUHS professor Christopher Broder and colleagues in Australia had strongly suggested that m102.4 antibodies would bind to proteins on the surface of Hendra virus particles and block the process by which the virus invades cells. This turned out to be the case with the monkeys as well, and all 12 of the treated animals survived -- including a group not given their first dose of antibodies until three days after infection with Hendra.

"I think this is a very promising therapy, especially when you consider that it was still strong three days later," said Geisbert, one of the lead authors of a paper on the work published online Oct. 19 in Science Translational Medicine. "What's also interesting is that this antibody has strong activity against Nipah virus as well, which is extremely similar to Hendra."

Both Hendra and Nipah primarily reside in fruit bats, and both are extraordinarily dangerous to humans. (If the virus names sound familiar to moviegoers, it's not an accident: director Stephen Soderbergh used an imaginary combination between Hendra and Nipah to create the virus in the recent film Contagion.) But while Hendra primarily affects horses, which can spread the disease to humans, Nipah has evolved to be transmissible directly from human to human. First identified in Malaysia in 1998, Nipah is blamed for 251 deaths in outbreaks in Malaysia, India and Bangladesh.

"Here at UTMB's Galveston National Laboratory we're currently looking at the efficacy of this antibody against Nipah," Geisbert said. "That would make it even more valuable."

Last year m102.4 was requested for emergency use in Australia to protect a woman and her daughter from an exposure to Hendra. Both survived and showed no side effects from the treatment.

Much more extensive testing would be required, though, to obtain approval for m102.4 as a therapy. According to GNL director James LeDuc, the facility is well prepared to move forward with such efforts.

"Collaboration between federal and university scientists has been instrumental in producing this novel breakthrough," LeDuc said. "We're ready to help in the next steps in translating this discovery into a usable treatment."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. N. Bossart, T. W. Geisbert, H. Feldmann, Z. Zhu, F. Feldmann, J. B. Geisbert, L. Yan, Y.-R. Feng, D. Brining, D. Scott, Y. Wang, A. S. Dimitrov, J. Callison, Y.-P. Chan, A. C. Hickey, D. S. Dimitrov, C. C. Broder, B. Rockx. A Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibody Protects African Green Monkeys from Hendra Virus Challenge. Science Translational Medicine, 2011; 3 (105): 105ra103 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002901

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "New therapy protects monkeys from Hendra virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020024335.htm>.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2011, October 20). New therapy protects monkeys from Hendra virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020024335.htm
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "New therapy protects monkeys from Hendra virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020024335.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) — A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. 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:

More Coverage


Major Advance in Human Antibody Therapy Against Deadly Hendra Virus

Oct. 20, 2011 — Scientists report a breakthrough in the development of an effective therapy against a deadly virus, Hendra ... read more

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