Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biologics & Bioprocessing
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Discovery Points to New Approach to Fight Dengue Virus

Published: Monday, April 15, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, April 15, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have discovered that rising temperature induces key changes in the dengue virus when it enters its human host, suggests new approach for designing vaccines against the aggressive mosquito-borne pathogen.

The researchers found that the dengue virus particles swell slightly and take on a bumpy appearance when heated to human body temperature, exposing "epitopes," or regions where antibodies could attach to neutralize the virus.

The discovery is significant because it could help to explain why vaccines against dengue have been ineffective, said Michael G. Rossmann, Hanley Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences at Purdue University.

Scientists have been designing vaccines targeting the virus's smooth appearance found at the cooler temperatures of mosquitoes and ticks.

"The bumpy form of the virus would be the form present in humans, so the optimal dengue virus vaccines should induce antibodies that preferentially recognize epitopes exposed in that form," Rossmann said.

The findings are detailed in a research paper appearing online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers used a technique called cryo-electron microscopy to see the three-dimensional structure of the virus at temperatures ranging from 28-37 degrees Celsius (37 degrees Celsius is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or human body temperature). Findings showed that the virus has a smooth appearance while at the cooler temperatures found in mosquito or tick vectors, but then it morphs into the bumpy form at warmer temperatures before fusing to the host cell and delivering its genetic material.

"These findings were a big surprise," said Richard J. Kuhn, professor and head of Purdue's Department of Biological Sciences and director of the Bindley Bioscience Center. "No one expected to see the virus change its appearance as it moves from the mosquito to humans."

The paper was co-authored by postdoctoral researcher Xinzheng Zhang; lab manager Ju Sheng; postdoctoral researcher Pavel Plevka; Kuhn; Michael S. Diamond, a researcher at Washington University School of Medicine; and Rossmann.

Findings also could apply to related infections in the flavivirus family, which includes a number of dangerous insect-borne diseases such as West Nile, yellow fever, tick-borne encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis.

Dengue (pronounced DEN-gē) is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children in some Asian and Latin American countries, causing 50 million to 100 million infections per year. Globally, dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades, placing about half the world's population at risk of infection.

The researchers determined that the bumpy form of the virus is more efficient at infecting mammalian cells. The team was able to measure the virus's infectivity using a laboratory procedure where cells are infected in a culture dish. The bumpy shape is an intermediate stage before the virus becomes unstable, releasing its genetic material. The virus is made of subunit molecules that separate when the virus particle expands into its bumpy form, revealing exposed membrane surfaces between the subunits where antibodies might bind.

The work is funded by the National Institutes of Health and Purdue through university support for a structural biology electron microscope facility.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,400+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Zika Virus Structure Revealed
Team at Purdue becomes the first to determine the structure of the Zika virus, which reveals insights critical to the development of effective antiviral treatments and vaccines.
Monday, April 04, 2016
Purdue Researcher's New 'Tool for the Organic Chemist Toolbox' Licensed to Sigma-Aldrich
U.S. patent for a safer, easier and "greener" method to incorporate fluorine into organic compounds has been licensed to a subsidiary of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Bird Flu Expert Working on Vaccine that Protects Against Multiple Strains
As the bird flu outbreak in China worsens, a Purdue University expert is working on vaccines that offer broader protection against multiple strains of the virus.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Researcher Taking Shot at Flu Vaccine That's More Effective, Easier to Make
In the midst of an unusually deadly flu season and armed with a vaccine that only offers partial protection, researcher is working on a flu vaccine that overcomes the need to predict which strains will hit each year.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Scientific News
Understanding Female HIV Transmission
Glowing virus maps points of entry through entire female reproductive tract for first time.
Soy Shows Promise as Natural Anti-Microbial Agent
Soy isoflavones and peptides may inhibit the growth of microbial pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses, according to a new study from University of Guelph researchers.
Designing Better Drugs
A rational drug engineering approach could breathe new life into drug development.
AstraZeneca to Sequence 2 Million Genomes in Search for New Drugs
Company launches integrated genomics approach which aims to transform drug discovery and development.
Factors Influencing Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Uncovered
The long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited, new research suggests.
Study Finds Factors That May Influence Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness
Researchers at NIH have suggested that the long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited.
New Model to Enhance Zika Virus Research
The model will allow researchers to better understand how the virus causes disease and aid in the development of antiviral compounds and vaccines.
Improving Flu Vaccine Effectiveness
NIH study finds factors that may influence influenza vaccine effectiveness.
BMS’s Opdivo Clinical Trial Shows Promise
Safety profile of the combination regimen from CheckMate -069 was consistent with previously reported studies and adverse events were managed using established safety algorithms.
CNS Inflammation: A Pathway and Possible Drug Target
Scientists have long known that the central nervous system (CNS) has a remarkable ability to limit excessive inflammation in the presence of antigens or injury, but how it works has been unclear.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!