Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers develop treatment effective against lethal Marburg virus

Date:
August 20, 2014
Source:
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Summary:
For the first time, researchers have protected nonhuman primates against Marburg virus -- Angola hemorrhagic fever. Their treatment was shown to be effective at a point when animals have detectable levels of the virus in their system and begin to show symptoms of the disease.

This is an electron microscope photo of the Marburg virus.
Credit: Thomas Geisbert, University of Texas Medical Branch

For the first time, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, in collaboration with Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, have protected nonhuman primates against Marburg virus - Angola hemorrhagic fever. Their treatment was shown to be effective at a point when animals have detectable levels of the virus in their system and begin to show symptoms of the disease. The study appears in the August 20 edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved for human use and no post-exposure treatment that has completely protected nonhuman primates against MARV-Angola, the most deadly Marburg viral strain, with a mortality rate of up to 90 percent. This virus, which is in the same family as Ebola, has a rapid disease course (seven to nine days) in nonhuman primates. There have been two recent imported cases of MARV HF to Europe and the United States, further increasing concern regarding the public health threat posed by this deadly virus.

"The increasingly frequent outbreaks of filoviral HF in Africa evidenced by the current rapidly spreading outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone illustrate the clear and present danger filoviruses represent to human health," stated UTMB's Thomas Geisbert, professor of microbiology and immunology. "As such, the development of effective countermeasures against these viruses is a critical need."

Previous studies with nonhuman primates have examined countermeasures against MARV infection at times before the subjects showed any evidence of clinical illness. This goal of this study, led by Geisbert and Ian MacLachlan, executive vice president and chief technical officer of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, was to determine whether it is possible to protect animals against a lethal MARV-Angola infection when treatment was started at a point when animals have detectable levels of the virus in their system and show the first clinical signs of disease.

Their strategy centered on the MARV RNA genome that encodes for seven structural proteins, two of which are responsible for replicating the genome. These seven genes and their products represent targets for the development of therapeutic agents and vaccines against MARV.

The research team demonstrated that their lipid encapsulated small interfering RNA treatment completely protected nonhuman primates against lethal MARV-Angola HF when treatment began even up to three days following infection.

"The significance of delaying treatment until three days after infection, which is the earliest time at which diagnosis by viral RNA can be detected and those infected show the first clinical signs of disease, is a critical step in triggering clinical interventions," stated MacLachlan.


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. E. P. Thi, C. E. Mire, R. Ursic-Bedoya, J. B. Geisbert, A. C. H. Lee, K. N. Agans, M. Robbins, D. J. Deer, K. A. Fenton, I. MacLachlan, T. W. Geisbert. Marburg virus infection in nonhuman primates: Therapeutic treatment by lipid-encapsulated siRNA. Science Translational Medicine, 2014; 6 (250): 250ra116 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009706

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Researchers develop treatment effective against lethal Marburg virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820164708.htm>.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2014, August 20). Researchers develop treatment effective against lethal Marburg virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820164708.htm
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Researchers develop treatment effective against lethal Marburg virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820164708.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A rare, well-preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth is going on sale at Summers Place Auctions hope the 11.5-foot tall, almost intact specimen will fetch between $245,000 to $409,000. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) A fox attacked a second-grade boy at a Connecticut elementary school Monday. It also attacked two school staff members and a woman and her dog. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Using proteins derived from mussels, engineers at MIT have made a supersticky underwater adhesive. They're now looking to make "living glue." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A white tiger killed a young man who climbed over a fence at the New Delhi zoo and jumped into the animal's enclosure on Tuesday, a spokesman said. (Sept. 23) 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


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