RMIT scientists in Melbourne have led an international collaboration that potentially unlocks better treatment of viral diseases, including the flu and common cold.
The results were published in the prestigious scientific and medical journal Nature Communications.
Each year the flu virus sends 13,500 Australians to hospital and causes more than 3000 deaths among those aged over 50. The global burden is also staggering, with more than 5 million cases of infection annually with up to 10 per cent resulting in death.
The RMIT senior authors, Dr Stavros Selemidis (ARC Future Fellow) and Dr Eunice To (first author), collaborated with Professor Doug Brooks from University South Australia, Professor John O’Leary from Trinity College Dublin, Monash University’s Professor Christopher Porter, and other scientists and clinicians to investigate how viruses cause disease in humans.
The researchers discovered that a 1.5 billion-year-old cell biological process found in plants, fungi and mammals enhances viral disease in mice and highly likely also in humans. They identified a protein, Nox2 oxidase, that is activated by viruses, including influenza, rhinovirus (the common cold), dengue and HIV.
Once activated, Nox2 oxidase suppresses the body’s key antiviral reaction and its ability to fight and clear the viral infection, which in turn results in a stronger or more virulent disease in mice.
The study also investigated a new prototype drug to treat these debilitating viral diseases.
The researchers found that the Nox2 oxidase protein activated by the viruses is located in a cell compartment called endosomes. They carefully modified a chemical that inhibits or restrains the activity of Nox2 oxidase.
Their customised drug was found to be very effective at suppressing disease caused by influenza infection.
Selemidis, head of the Oxidant and Inflammation Biology Group within the Chronic Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases program at RMIT, said: “Current treatment strategies are limited as they specifically target circulating viruses and have either unknown or very little effect against new viruses that enter the human population.
“We have identified a protein of the immune system that contributes to the disease caused by flu viruses irrespective of their strain.
“We also developed a novel drug delivery system to target this protein, which drastically alleviated the burden of viral disease.
“The strength of this work is the multidisciplinary approach taken and the degree of collaboration. It includes researchers and clinicians from eight universities across Australia, the United States and Ireland.
“This work attracted considerable interest at the NADPH Oxidase GORDON conference in the USA last year.”
To said: “This work identifies a treatment strategy that has the potential to alleviate the symptoms caused by some of the most devastating viruses worldwide, including the flu.”
The Latest on: Viral diseases
- Japan cases of lethal tick-borne virus set to exceed 100 per year for first time: reportson November 19, 2019 at 9:47 pm
An Asian longhorned tick, which measures just millimeters in size, is seen in this image provided by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. TOKYO -- Cases of a lethal tick-borne virus in Japan ...
- EU conditionally OKs Ebola vaccine, CDC updates antibiotic resistance figures — top stories in infectious diseaseon November 19, 2019 at 12:23 pm
News that the European Union granted conditional approval of Merck’s investigational Ebola vaccine, Ervebo — which has been used effectively in the current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the ...
- New database helps identify therapeutic targets to fight infectious diseaseson November 19, 2019 at 11:25 am
Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms capable of entering, colonizing and growing within a host organism, thus producing an infection. Bacterial infections have been on the rise ...
- When global health goes local: Tackling infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance in Kenyaon November 19, 2019 at 8:42 am
“We don’t really know how big the scope of the problem is at this point.” Infectious diseases are responsible for an estimated 8.4 million deaths annually across the globe and are a leading cause of ...
- Disease has killed hundreds, potentially thousands of deer in central Iowaon November 19, 2019 at 8:29 am
DES MOINES, Iowa – Warren County, Iowa, is the epicenter of a disease that has killed at least 1,800 whitetail deer in Iowa this year. Brought on by a virus, the epizootic hemorrhagic disease causes ...
- For people with HIV, undetectable virus means untransmittable diseaseon November 15, 2019 at 3:04 am
“I was terrified,” he remembers. “I thought my life was over.” That year, more than 50,000 people in the United States died from AIDS, the disease that ravages the body when the human immunodeficiency ...
- The U.S. needs extra action to eliminate viral hepatitis, the nation’s deadliest infectious diseaseon November 15, 2019 at 1:59 am
I traveled to Boston last weekend for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. This meeting is personal for me — it was where 11 years ago I decided to begin ...
- Infectious Disease Diagnostics Market 2019-2026 | Focuses on the Global Key Manufacturers, Competition Landscape and SWOT Analysison November 14, 2019 at 4:12 am
Nov 14, 2019 (Global QYResearch via COMTEX) -- Ameco Research in its report titled, "Infectious Disease Diagnostics Market Analysis 2019 – Projections Report 2026," offers comprehensive insights and ...
- Infectious diseases A to Z: New flu antiviral availableon November 13, 2019 at 8:18 am
It is especially important for those who are at high risk of developing complications from the flu virus, including those over age 65 and those with chronic medical problems, such as heart disease, ...
- Antagonism of STAT1 by Nipah virus P gene products modulates disease course but not lethal outcome in the ferret modelon November 13, 2019 at 2:52 am
Nipah virus (NiV; family Paramyxoviridae) emerged in Southeast Asia two decades ago as a novel, lethal human pathogen. NiV infection results in acute respiratory disease, meningoencephalitis, and ...
via Google News and Bing News