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   Biotech / MedicalNNVC - NanoViricides, Inc.


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From: donpat6/5/2016 10:19:13 AM
   of 12857
 
Trump’s Mission: It’s Hard to Be Great in the Middle of an Epidemic, So We Need a Cure Strategy

[SNIP]
Yet today, one sees green shoots of fresh thinking. For instance, Robert W. Patterson, the Republican challenger of a Democratic incumbent in New Jersey’s First Congressional District, has called for a Garden State enterprise zone for “fast-tracking the discovery of cures and vaccines for such diseases as Alzheimer’s and all forms of cancer.” (Hardcore BNN readers might recall that this idea of a Medical Cure Enterprise Zone was raised here, on April 10, 2014.)

Now, Patterson has taken the idea squarely into the political arena. As he said in a debate with his opponent on May 31:

Most Americans are more concerned about their health than they are about the care they receive. This process has to be fast-tracked. We need greater incentives so that this can happen.

breitbart.com

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From: Straynut6/5/2016 2:35:46 PM
   of 12857
 
The true cost of Zika in the U.S. could be staggering

By ED LEEFELDT MONEYWATCH June 3, 2016, 5:30 AM
Last Updated Jun 3, 2016 5:12 PM EDT
While Congress continues to debate President Obama's proposal to spend $1.8 billion to fight the Zika virus, an unpleasant reality is beginning to surface. That figure could be insignificant compared to the total long-term cost if Zika runs rampant across the country this summer.
The warning signs are already here. The first "Zika baby" born in the continental U.S. at a Hackensack, New Jersey, hospital was diagnosed with a deformed head. There are 341 confirmed cases of Zika among pregnant women in the U.S. and its territories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"The economic cost of Zika could be very high," said Dr. Peter Hotez, microbiologist at Texas Children's Hospital and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Hotez will go before a closed session of the U.S. Senate on the morning of June 8 along with other top U.S. health officials to present the findings of their study of Zika, which focuses on the U.S. Gulf Coast. He said he couldn't be more specific about the potential impact of the disease until his congressional testimony.
No one, including the CDC, health insurers or those with the best handle on it, such as the Kaiser Family Foundation, seems prepared to go out on a limb and offer an estimate on the cost -- which could end up being abominably high ... or absurdly low.
P
This caution is admirable, but not helpful, when you consider what's at stake. Insurance companies estimate costs on the basis of past experience, and while Zika isn't a new virus, its probable connection with the birth defect microcephaly in newborns (abnormally small heads) has only recently come to light. Although the epidemic is now centered in Brazil, it's spreading around the world as the virus "hitchhikes" on migrating mosquitoes, travelers and possibly infected blood banks.
Brazil expects 2,500 cases of microcephaly this year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And with the active transmission of the virus throughout at least 62 countries and territories, including the Southern U.S. and Puerto Rico, carrying with it the danger of microcephaly for pregnant women, it's not surprising that Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell warned that Zika "has the significant potential to affect ... the health of Americans."
But no one can predict how fast or far it will spread here. How many women in the first four to five months of pregnancy will be bitten by infected mosquitoes or be infected by sexual partners? Research has yet to show how long the virus remains in the body or whether the patient develops immunities after an initial bite.
Due to the lag between conception and birth, and since summer is the worst season for mosquitoes, many of these cases won't become known until fall or winter, when "clusters" could suddenly appear, particularly in areas that lack early detection of symptoms. Fetal abnormalities generally are detected six months after the initial infection, according to WHO.

Could these mosquitoes be largely wiped out by spraying? Right now there's no way to tell. CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden described this mosquito as "a sneaky cockroach" that can lay its eggs in a bottle cap and is a blood "sipper" that likes to bite multiple people, making it the ideal transmission vehicle.
A vaccine isn't an option until 2017 at the earliest, and it would probably be rushed with minimal testing. It's also possible that giving a vaccine to pregnant women might do more harm than good.
But two things are predictable. Without immediate forceful action, the Aedes aegypti mosquito -- which carries Zika and other dangerous viruses such as dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever -- will bite a lot of people, many of them poor and without window screens or access to full-time air conditioning.
In Puerto Rico, a likely hot spot for Zika this summer, estimates are that nearly a million people could be bitten and get the virus, many of them women who won't even know it before giving birth to a microcephalic child, depending on the quality of their medical care. If the mosquito and Zika epidemic aren't wiped out, one estimate is that 80 percent of the island could be vulnerable.
Avoiding pregnancy until the epidemic is over is one answer, but an estimated 20 percent of those who become pregnant there are high school girls. Preventing pregnancy in this group could prove harder than stopping Zika.

Children born with microcephaly, which has no cure, will require long-term care if they survive. Some microcephalics can live normal lives, but most suffer from severe disabilities. And while some could die early on from complications, a vast majority will need care throughout their lives.
In insurance lingo, this is referred to as a "long-tail" loss because the extent of the damage isn't known and is paid out over many years. For example, children with Down syndrome can live well into their 60s.
During a recent webinar for the Kaiser Family Foundation, the CDC's Frieden said the lifetime cost of care for a microcephalic child would be somewhere between $1 million and $10 million. Some of it would be borne by parents and relatives, but most of it would require the intervention of either private insurance or the public health care system. Many of these children would probably be institutionalized for at least part of their lives.
So here's the speculative -- and very speculative at that -- math. The Center for American Progress estimates that 2 million women in the U.S. will get pregnant this summer and fall, with nearly half of them living in areas potentially at risk of Zika. It's important to note that the public policy group's analysis isn't based on the actual prevalence of Zika around the country, while even if the virus spreads only a fraction of women are likely to be infected.
Still, if even just one in 10 gets Zika, the CDC estimates that up to 13 percent of their unborn offspring could develop microcephaly. If just 13,000 babies are born in the U.S. with this disability or to women who migrated here for better medical treatment, the cost of keeping them alive and providing for their lifetime care could range from $13 billion to as much as $130 billion.
But the saddest part of the equation is the much larger number of microcephalic children born abroad who will never have the money or resources to be kept alive.
© 2016 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved. webmail.myfairpoint.net

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From: Straynut6/5/2016 3:29:57 PM
   of 12857
 
By: DreamTeamNetwork
June 01, 2016 at 15:43 PM EDT

SeeThruEquity Conference Brings Together Microcap Companies and Investors in New York City

Yesterday, the 5th Annual SeeThruEquity Conference took place at Convene in New York City, connecting more than 30 presenting companies with microcap-focused investors, sponsors and industry professionals. The conference featured 30-minute presentations from each of the presenting companies, as well as opportunities for prospective investors to meet one-on-one with the companies’ management teams. In total, SeeThruEquity has hosted 20 investor conferences, attracting more than 4,400 investors and arranging over 1,800 one-on-one meetings.
SeeThruEquity’s quarterly investor conferences deliver considerable value to presenting companies, including an opportunity to speak to a high quality audience of institutional and sophisticated high-net worth investors. The independent research firm also initiates complimentary research coverage on all presenting companies, giving investors a more detailed look at the companies’ positions in their respective markets.

Health care beyond medical center walls
Sponsored by: Kaiser Permanente

Presenting companies at yesterday’s conference included:
3TL Technologies Corp. (OTCQB: TTMZF), Advanced Medical Isotope Corp. (OTC: ADMD), Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: AMBS), Apivio Systems, Inc. (OTC: APVVF), Avant Diagnostics, Inc. (OTCQB: AVDX), BIO-key International, Inc. (OTCQB: BKYI), Blue Sphere Corp. (OTCQB: BLSP), Calmare Therapeutics Inc. (OTCQB: CTTC), Cellectar Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLRB), Chineseinvestors.com, Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX), COPsync, Inc. (NASDAQ: COYN), DelMar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQX: DMPI), Endonovo Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: ENDV), General Employment Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE MKT: JOB), HealthWarehouse.com, Inc. (OTCQB: HEWA), HydroPhi Technologies Group, Inc. (OTC: HPTG), IEG Holdings Corp. (OTCQX: IEGH), International Western Petroleum, Inc. (OTCQB: INWP), NanoViricides, Inc. (NYSE MKT: NNVC), O2Micro International Ltd. (NASDAQ: OIIM), PAR Technology Corp. (NYSE: PAR), PCM, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCMI), Pivot Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQB: PVOTF), Predictive Technology Group, Inc. (OTC: PRED), Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO), Progressive Care, Inc. (OTC: RXMD), Rhino Resource Partners LP (OTCQB: RHNO), RiceBran Technologies (NASDAQ: RIBT), Staffing 360 Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: STAF), TapImmune, Inc. (OTCQB: TPIV), Yangtze River Development Ltd. (OTC: YERR)
The conference also included a panel on Regulation A+, the newly-revamped regulation that allows private companies to raise up to $50 million through unaccredited investor equity crowdfunding as an alternative to venture capital firms or other institutional capital providers. The panel was moderated by Brian Balbirnie and Michael Colon of Issuer Direct Corporation (NYSE MKT: ISDR), parent company of…
Read More >>
About MissionIR
MissionIR is committed to connecting the investment community with companies that have great potential and a strong dedication to building shareholder value. Through a full suite of investor relations and consultancy services, we help public companies develop and execute a strategic investor awareness plan as we’ve done for hundreds of others. Whether it’s capital raising, increasing awareness among the financial community, or enhancing corporate communications, we offer a variety of solutions to meet the objectives of our clients. For more information, visit www.MissionIR.com

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To: Straynut who wrote (6871)6/5/2016 3:37:19 PM
From: donpat
   of 12857
 
It boggles the mind figuring out the lifetime cost for each Zika infected baby = $ Millions. Don't know the expected lifetime but the costs will make $1.9 Billion look puny by comparison.

Will the insurance industry pick up the tab? Will the gov??

Probably will BK the country.

And is there any solution???

Now??

Is ZikaCide of any assistance?

Does anybody give a damn?

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From: donpat6/6/2016 9:05:34 AM
   of 12857
 
New material kills E. coli bacteria in 30 seconds

June 6, 2016


A microscopic image of the E. coli bacteria after it has been destroyed by the antimicrobial material. Credit: Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

Every day, we are exposed to millions of harmful bacteria that can cause infectious diseases, such as the E. coli bacteria. Now, researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, have developed a new material that can kill the E. coli bacteria within 30 seconds. This finding has been published in the peer-reviewed journal, Small.

"The global threat of drug-resistant bacteria has given rise to the urgent need for new materials that can kill and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Our new antimicrobial material could be used in consumer and personal care products to support good personal hygiene practices and prevent the spread of infectious diseases," said IBN Executive Director, Professor Jackie Y. Ying.

Triclosan, a common ingredient found in many products such as toothpastes, soaps and detergents to reduce or prevent bacterial infections, has been linked to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics and adverse health effects. The European Union has restricted the use of triclosan in cosmetics, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is conducting an on-going review of this ingredient.

Driven by the need to find a more suitable alternative, IBN Group Leader Dr Yugen Zhang and his team synthesized a chemical compound made up of molecules linked together in a chain. Called imidazolium oligomers, this material can kill 99.7% of the E. coli bacteria within 30 seconds aided by its chain-like structure, which helps to penetrate the cell membrane and destroy the bacteria. In contrast, antibiotics only kill the bacteria without destroying the cell membrane. Leaving the cell structure intact allows new antibiotic-resistant bacteria to grow.

"Our unique material can kill bacteria rapidly and inhibit the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Computational chemistry studies supported our experimental findings that the chain-like compound works by attacking the cell membrane. This material is also safe for use because it carries a positive charge that targets the more negatively charged bacteria, without destroying red blood cells," said Dr Zhang.

The imidazolium oligomers come in the form of a white powder that is soluble in water. The researchers also found that once this was dissolved in alcohol, it formed gels spontaneously. This material could be incorporated in alcoholic sprays that are used for sterilization in hospitals or homes.

E. coli is a type of bacteria found in the intestines of humans and animals, and some strains can cause severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. Such infection is contagious and can spread through contaminated food or water, or from contact with people or animals. Good hygiene practices and proper food handling can prevent E. coli infections.

Besides E. coli, IBN's material was also tested against other common strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans. These pathogens can cause conditions ranging from skin infections to pneumonia and toxic shock syndrome. Our material was able to kill 99.9% of these microbes within two minutes.

IBN's ultrafast bacteria-killing material could therefore be a potent new weapon against drug-resistant microbes.

Explore further: Daily dose of antibiotics helps bacteria develop multi-drug tolerance

More information: Siti Nurhanna Riduan et al. Ultrafast Killing and Self-Gelling Antimicrobial Imidazolium Oligomers, Small(2016). DOI: 10.1002/smll.201600006

Journal reference: Small

Provided by: Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore

Read more at: phys.org

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To: donpat who wrote (6874)6/6/2016 9:56:58 AM
From: drkaz
   of 12857
 
Interesting,.... although I wonder how far they have gone to see if it has toxic effects on animal or plant cell membranes.

As a surface disinfectant - it may be wonderful stuff regardless - but if it cannot be used directly on hands or on patient tissues, it may limit some of its potential utility.

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To: drkaz who wrote (6875)6/6/2016 10:08:30 AM
From: donpat
   of 12857
 
True - why not try it internally - what's to lose!

To me it seems clear - try!

BWDIK - Some of the most wondrous things happen when those who don't know go ahead and try while the 'smart' know better and do not!

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From: donpat6/6/2016 10:20:24 AM
   of 12857
 
Zika's ground zero: Generation of babies born with microcephaly face uncertain future

By Vasco Cotovio and Nick Paton Walsh, CNN
Updated 4:17 AM ET, Mon June 6, 2016

Recife, Brazil (CNN)Maria Vitoria is eight months old, but her fragile frame has already seen so much suffering.

She was born with microcephaly, likely as a result of the Zika virus, and her family abandoned her at birth.
Now she is growing, but the development of her brain is stunted by the birth defect, and slowly, day by day, her adopted parents Kely and Josimar Oliveira are learning what this means: can she see, does she hear them?

Discoveries like these -- heart-shredding moments -- are happening every day at the Altino Ventura Foundation Clinic in Recife.




This port city in Brazil's northeast was Ground Zero for the country's Zika outbreak; months on, it is seeing the babies born under a global spotlight age quietly, their symptoms and burdens growing daily.

But for Kely Oliveira, the choice to bring Maria Vitoria into her home was a simple one: she had long hoped to adopt, and instinct took over the moment she met the baby.

"For me it was love really, you know, a mother's love," she explains. "When we saw her, we fell in love with her."

"I didn't want to know what she had, what she didn't ... to me that doesn't matter. She's my daughter."
The adoption progressed quickly once Kely and Josimar had made their decision.

Zika: Will this baby be OK?

Developmental problems



Much of what happens at the clinic also happens fast; as the youngest victims of the world's newest pandemic are put through a barrage of tests.

The discoveries are painful and swift: Visual stimulation, to find out if they can see. Hearing tests, to learn if they will one day speak easily. It is a tough ride.

For Maria Vitoria and her adoptive mother Kely, this is a particularly special moment: today the eight-month-old will, for the first time, be given glasses to help her vision.

"She needs them," Kely says. "She has a problem with her eyesight." Microcephaly hampers a child's development and the eyes are often one of the areas affected.

"I took her to the eye doctor and he said that at the moment she only needs glasses to stimulate her eyesight," Kely explains, adding "these babies need to wear glasses to avoid harming their eyesight even further."

Maria Vitoria's difficulties don't end there; she has been attending regular physical therapy sessions, and has medical appointments three days a week.

"It is a bit of a rush, her schedule is full," Kely says, admitting that her life has been overtaken by the vast amount of medical assistance her child needs. "It is a lot of different doctors and it's not just in one place, it's several places."

Josimar, a public servant with the Finance Ministry in Recife, has to take three days off work, every week, to drive Kely and Maria Vitoria to all the appointments.

And as if the medical expenses were not enough, the cost of gas is crippling.

Where Zika mosquitoes hide and how to stop them

Painful prejudice

For Lacie Santos, whose daughter Giovana was born with microcephaly seven months ago, the sheer scale of time she must spend caring for her daughter has caused problems. The day before we spoke, she was fired from her job.

"I missed so many days that my boss couldn't keep me on," she says. "I'm a full time mom now."



The mothers here, already overwhelmed by the physical and practical challenges of caring for their children, also face another burden: The prejudice they fear society will show to their children, simply because they look different.

"Ours is a daily campaign, a daily fight against this disgusting prejudice," says Veronica Santos, mother of seven-month-old Joao Guilherme.

Veronica found out she had Zika when she was three months pregnant; seven months into the pregnancy, she was told her son would be born with microcephaly.

Holding Joao affectionately, she explains why he had to be fitted with special boots to realign his lower limbs.

"They have ballerina feet, only stepping on the tips of their toes, and the boot is just to correct that, their posture," she says.

Zika virus cloned in step toward vaccine

Hope for the future



Veronica Santos and her baby Joao, who was born with microcephaly caused by the Zika virus.

Veronica says the biggest difficulty Joao faces right now is stiffness in his torso. "He eats right, it's just how fast he develops, nothing else. Everything is alright," she reassures us, confidently.

But it wasn't always like that. Veronica is quick to admit that she struggled when Joao was born, and not just because of the physical and developmental challenges.

"When we went into a room, to see people's faces, the other people who were in the hospital, that for me was the hardest phase," she says, recalling their expressions as they noticed that her son was different.

There is no guarantee that the hours and hours of therapy that the children undergo will make a significant difference in their development.

At times, the mothers take turns to care for each other's children at the clinic -- a moment of solidarity, a recognition that they share the same challenges.

Zika virus 'scarier than initially thought'

There is sadness here, and a tacit agreement not to speak of how long or well the children may live and prosper. But there is also some optimism, hope for the future.

"When she grows up, I think I'd want her to be a doctor," Maria Vitoria's mother Kely says. "To discover more about the issue of microcephaly, to help other people who have microcephaly."

"I would like her to have a career like that."

CNN's Jeffrey Kehl contributed to this report.

cnn.com

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From: donpat6/6/2016 10:34:59 AM
   of 12857
 
Scientists have found a human protein that blocks Zika replication and prevents cell death

Yes!!

BEC CREW
6 JUN 2016

Scientists have finally figured out what Zika virus does to the human body, and it explains why its effects can be so devastating, but infections can go for months without detection.

A new study has shown that not only does it go straight for the brain's progenitor cells, blocking around 20 percent of them from forming new neurons, but it does so without alerting the body’s immune system, so can go on replicating in the brain for weeks.

The good news is that, by better understanding how Zika is so successful in spreading throughout the human body, scientists from the University of Texas Medical Centre have found a way to combat it.

A tiny protein called interferon-induced protein 3 (IFITM3), which is naturally produced in the body, has been shown to reduce Zika’s ability to infect brain cells in both humans and mice, and can even prevent the cell die-off associated with the virus.

"This work represents the first look at how our cells defend themselves against Zika virus' attack," says one of the team, Abraham Brass. "Our results show that Zika virus has a weakness that we could potentially exploit to prevent or stop infection."

Since we all started talking about it back in January, the spread of Zika has been slow but steady, and we’re now looking at a total of 52 countries where infections have cropped up locally, including Brazil, Cuba, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.

Places like the US, the UK, and Australia have all reported cases from returning travellers, and the US just had its second confirmed birth of a baby infected by the virus.

That’s pretty devastating news, because scientists have finally found the biological mechanism that connects Zika to microcephaly - a rare and devastating neurological disorder that causes newborns to develop abnormally small skulls and brains. The World Health Organisation (WHO) officially confirmed in April that the virus is to blame for the skyrocketing number of birth defects in affected countries.

But now we might finally have an answer to the epidemic that’s been sweeping the Americas and the Pacific for at least 12 months now, and it’s been hiding in our bodies the whole time.

Brass and his team were investigating the activity of the IFITM3 protein in relation to emerging viral infections, because they found that people who have a genetic variant (or allele), of the IFITM3 gene are more susceptible to developing severe influenza. This variant appears to be fairly rare in people of European decent, but more common in Asia and Micronesia.

After working with the dengue virus, and other viruses that are related to Zika, the team found evidence that IFITM3 could block replication within healthy cells, so boosted levels of the protein within both mouse and human cells to see how a Zika infection would respond.

In both cases, the researchers found that boosted IFITM3 levels actually altered the cell membrane, toughening it up so the viruses struggled to break through. If cells had lower levels of IFITM3 than usual, the viruses were found to more easily break through the cells’ defences and replicate inside.



When human cells were exposed to Zika, they are overwhelming infected, as seen by the large number of green cells on the left. When IFITM3 levels were boosted, the same amount of virus was prevented from replicating (right panel). Credit: Brass Lab

"In effect, we see that IFITM3 allows our cells to swallow up and quarantine the virus thereby stopping their own infection, and also the infection of neighbouring cells," said one of the team, George Savidis. "We think this also reduces the levels of cell death caused by Zika virus."

"IFITM3 pretty much keeps Zika virus stuck in no man's land, where it can't do anything to harm us," he added.

So where to from here? The effects of the protein have only been tested in cells extracted from humans and mice and cultured in the lab, so will need to be tested in situ before we can get too excited about the potential of a new treatment or vaccine for Zika.

The team plans to test their findings in mice that are IFITM3-deficient to see if they’re more susceptible to the effects of the virus. They’ll also be searching for molecules that could boost the levels of IFITM3 in the body, which could be developed into a new drug that not only combats Zika, but many other related viruses. Right now, there is no treatment, cure, or prevention for Zika.

"A lot of data by us and others in the field has shown that IFITM3 has a big impact on blocking many emerging viruses such as dengue, Zika, and Ebola," says Brass. "Given our recent results with Zika virus, it's now even more important that we work to find out how IFITM3 is blocking these viruses, and use that knowledge to prevent and treat infections."

The results have been published in Cell Reports.

sciencealert.com

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From: donpat6/6/2016 10:43:24 AM
   of 12857
 
How the white-footed mouse can help humans fight diseases

Clues sought for treatment of flaviviruses by studying cells

By ADAEZE IZUOGU | SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

Published on June 6, 2016


Adaeze Izuogu is a PhD student in the department of medical microbiology and immunology at the University of Toledo college of medicine.
Enlarge

Have you ever wondered if animals get sick with the same infections that affect humans?

In recent years, the world has been threatened with dangerous disease-causing viruses such as Ebola, Dengue, SARS, and currently, Zika virus. These viruses all infect animals before transmission to humans. Curiously, most infected animals do not get sick despite infection. It is a puzzle to researchers that these animals resist the viral diseases and suggests that the animals have some survival secrets that we humans do not.

A group of viruses called flaviviruses presents an even more complex picture of human virus infection and disease. These include many widespread viruses such as West Nile, Zika, Powassan, and tick-borne encephalitis virus. An insect vector is required to transmit these viruses from animals to humans, which most often occurs by the bite of a mosquito or tick that had previously bitten an infected animal.

The human disease that develops from the infected insect could involve a simple fever or a very severe multi-organ illness or even brain damage with possible long-term consequences. Unfortunately, there is currently no specific treatment for infection with this group of viruses, and up to 60 percent of people who develop disease can die from infection.

Our studies, conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Travis Taylor at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, are seeking clues for treatment of flaviviruses by studying cells of a natural animal host: the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus). This is the most common wild rodent in North America.

Ticks infected with flavivirus that bite a white-footed mouse can pass the flavivirus to that mouse. The mouse remains infected for a long time but without disease symptoms. Any other tick that then bites this mouse for a blood meal can acquire the flavivirus infection and transmit it to a human.

The main goal of our research is to identify how the white-footed mouse remains free of disease while infected with the flavivirus, unlike humans. If we can find the exact process of defense against disease in the white-footed mouse, we may be able to use a similar approach to combat flavivirus disease in humans.

We discovered that the flavivirus grows to much lower numbers in cells in culture from the white-footed mouse as compared to cells from the house mouse (Mus musculus), which is not resistant to flavivirus disease symptoms.

We have now tested several strains of tick-borne flaviviruses. Every strain tested exhibits the same low numbers in cells of the white-footed mouse. Further research revealed that flavivirus growth in the white-footed mouse is blocked when the virus attempts to make more copies of itself within the cell, which is why there are fewer virus particles in the cell culture as compared to the house mouse.

So why is the same flavivirus more dangerous in some species than others? We believe this difference is because the white-footed mouse’s higher immune system activity defends against virus particles. Generally, the higher the activity of your immune system, the better your defense against disease will be.

The next step was to identify the main biochemical pathway involved in defense. We used molecular tools to block the interferon response, which is the body’s process of sensing viral infection and activating an immune defense. We discovered that when this pathway is blocked in cells of the white-footed mouse, there are many more virus particles in these cells. This suggests that the white-footed mouse cell defense activity suppresses virus growth.

We’ve learned that virus detection and interferon activation prevent the growth of flaviviruses in the white-footed mouse. The next step is to identify specific proteins in this mouse that are triggered by the interferon pathway to inhibit flavivirus disease after infection. We anticipate that these specific proteins will help in drug design by mimicking the survival strategy of the white-footed mouse.

Adaeze Izuogu is a PhD student in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences Biomedical Science Program. Adaeze is doing her research in the laboratory of Dr. Travis Taylor. For more information, contactAdaeze.Izuogu@rockets.utoledo.edu

RELATED ITEMS: ADAEZE IZUOGU , UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO , ZIKA VIRUS , DENGUE , SARS , EBOLA , WEST NILE VIRUS , DR. TRAVIS TAYLOR , FORMER MEDICAL COLLEGE OF OHIO

toledoblade.com

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