Breaking News
March 21, 2018 - Hydrogel may accelerate healing of diabetic ulcers
March 21, 2018 - Dermira’s Two Phase 3 Trials Evaluating Olumacostat Glasaretil in Patients with Acne Vulgaris Did Not Meet Co-Primary Endpoints
March 21, 2018 - ‘Oh, It Was Nothing’
March 21, 2018 - Herbal drug kratom linked to salmonella illnesses, CDC says
March 21, 2018 - New optical point-of-care device could enhance screening for thyroid nodules
March 21, 2018 - FDA Expands Approval of Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) for First-Line Treatment of Stage III or IV Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma in Combination with Chemotherapy
March 21, 2018 - Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Late Manifestation of Allergic March
March 21, 2018 - Signaling pathway involving the Golgi apparatus identified in cells with Huntington’s disease
March 21, 2018 - Quintupling inhaled steroid doses may not benefit children with asthma
March 21, 2018 - Study shows clear connection between cardiovascular fitness in middle age and dementia risk
March 21, 2018 - Premature babies have higher risks of health complications in Bangladesh
March 21, 2018 - Child’s temperament and parenting influence weight gain in babies
March 21, 2018 - Researchers find the heart to be capable of arrhythmia termination after local gene therapy
March 21, 2018 - Inhealthcare to provide digital infrastructure for NHS to help protect people from falls
March 21, 2018 - Flu Season Finally Slowing Down
March 21, 2018 - Mixed Results for Shorter DAPT in ACS Patients
March 21, 2018 - Scientists discover fish scale-derived collagen effective for healing wounds
March 21, 2018 - Genomics England announces new partnership to improve efficiency of next-generation sequencing analysis
March 21, 2018 - Adjuvant AC chemotherapy found to be effective in treating HRD-positive breast cancer patients
March 21, 2018 - Researchers identify new treatment targets for lung diseases using big data
March 21, 2018 - Kids see more women in science than five decades ago
March 21, 2018 - Research shows link between chronic fatigue syndrome and lower thyroid hormone levels
March 21, 2018 - Alzheimer’s disease on the rise
March 21, 2018 - Two Agents Equal as Pretreatment for Adrenal Tumor Surgery
March 21, 2018 - ‘Icebreaker’ protein opens genome for T cell development, researchers find
March 21, 2018 - Women in medicine shout #Metoo about sexual harassment at work
March 21, 2018 - Mother’s pre-pregnancy waist size may be linked to child’s autism risk
March 21, 2018 - Second hand marijuana smoke can cause serious damage
March 21, 2018 - International study shows benefits of using MRI at the start of prostate cancer diagnosis
March 20, 2018 - Santhera Reports Outcome of Exploratory Trial with Idebenone in PPMS Conducted at the NIH
March 20, 2018 - ECG Patch Ups At-Home Afib Diagnosis in mSToPS Trial
March 20, 2018 - ROS-scavenging nanozymes for anti-inflammation therapeutics
March 20, 2018 - Genomics England announces appointment of global genomics pioneer as first CEO
March 20, 2018 - Test flight at German Aerospace Center in Cologne demonstrates functionality of deficopter
March 20, 2018 - Music therapy helps treat combat-related psychological injuries in military personnel
March 20, 2018 - Innovative psychotherapeutic treatment protocol for obsessive-compulsive disorders
March 20, 2018 - Weight loss after lap-band surgery alleviates arthritic knee pain
March 20, 2018 - New diabetes drug may help obese people shed body weight
March 20, 2018 - Novel Peanut OIT a Winner in Phase III Trial
March 20, 2018 - Can gene therapy be harnessed to fight the AIDS virus?
March 20, 2018 - Education and academic achievement can lessen effects of child abuse, neglect
March 20, 2018 - Researchers develop new algorithm to make CPR more effective
March 20, 2018 - Diabetes medication reduces chance of late miscarriage, premature birth among women with PCOS
March 20, 2018 - SSRIs may be more effective option for treating anxious youth, UC research shows
March 20, 2018 - Antibiotics could benefit women suffering from chronic bladder pain
March 20, 2018 - Health Highlights: March 16, 2018
March 20, 2018 - Interventional Radiology Has a Problem of ‘Unseen’ Value
March 20, 2018 - Antibodies show effectiveness for HIV prevention and promise for treatment and cure
March 20, 2018 - New 3-D-printed technology will improve radiology training
March 20, 2018 - New study identifies key role for particular gene in 16p11.2 deletion syndrome
March 20, 2018 - Red and processed meat increase the risk of liver disease
March 20, 2018 - 50% of Australians do not brush teeth twice a day
March 20, 2018 - American Gene Technologies receives second immuno-oncology patent
March 20, 2018 - Study finds no link between long-term violent video game play and adult aggression
March 20, 2018 - Weight loss surgery widely underutilized among young patients with severe obesity
March 20, 2018 - Scientists uncover new answers to cell aging in children with rare, fatal disease
March 20, 2018 - The Pistoia Alliance Calls for Greater Life Sciences Collaboration to Build the ‘Lab of the Future’
March 20, 2018 - Morning Break: Psychopathic Thought; Americans Flout Zzz’s; Farm to Pharma
March 20, 2018 - Perceptions of old age change as we age
March 20, 2018 - New standards for public involvement in research launched across the UK
March 20, 2018 - Whole Genome Sequencing used as diagnostic solution for TB
March 20, 2018 - Researchers show how two cancer genes work together to trigger leukemia
March 20, 2018 - Scientists discover basic molecular mechanism that helps understand how ALS works
March 20, 2018 - Multi-center study to evaluate promising new intervention for upper limb dysfunction after SCI
March 20, 2018 - Researchers develop technology to program DNA for delivering cancer drugs
March 20, 2018 - Northwestern scientists bring precision medicine to rheumatoid arthritis
March 20, 2018 - Research suggests possible link between heading a soccer ball and brain imbalance
March 20, 2018 - Robocall increases diabetic retinopathy screening rates among poor minorities
March 20, 2018 - INSYS Therapeutics Initiates Phase 3 Clinical Trial of Cannabidiol (CBD) Oral Solution for Treatment of Infantile Spasms
March 20, 2018 - Little Talk Between Docs and Patients Pre-PSA Screen
March 20, 2018 - Women GPs bring remote care to rural Pakistan
March 20, 2018 - Adults skipping vaccines may miss out on effective new shingles shot
March 20, 2018 - Suppressing emotions appears to reduce negative memories
March 20, 2018 - Epidural stimulation can safely, effectively normalize blood pressure in patients with SCI
March 20, 2018 - ‘Fast track’ project shows promising results in cancer whole genome analyses
March 20, 2018 - Advanced insulin pump system can also manage type 1 diabetes in children, study shows
March 20, 2018 - Flu risk less on flights if in a window seat finds study
March 20, 2018 - Sarepta Therapeutics Announces Plan to Submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for Accelerated Approval of Golodirsen (SRP-4053) in Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) Amenable to Skipping Exon 53
March 20, 2018 - Post-Transplant Fatty Liver Disease on the Rise
March 20, 2018 - New mutation linked to ovarian cancer can be passed down through dad
Repurposed drug effectively protects against Zika virus in mouse models

Repurposed drug effectively protects against Zika virus in mouse models

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

In both cell cultures and mouse models, a drug used to treat Hepatitis C effectively protected and rescued neural cells infected by the Zika virus — and blocked transmission of the virus to mouse fetuses.

Writing in the current online issue of the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Brazil and elsewhere, say their findings support further investigation of using the repurposed drug as a potential treatment for Zika-infected adults, including pregnant women.

“There has been a lot of work done in the past year or so to address the Zika health threat. Much of it has focused on developing a vaccine, with promising early results,” said senior author Alysson Muotri, PhD, professor in the UC San Diego School of Medicine departments of Pediatrics and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program and a member of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.

“But there is also a great need to develop clinical strategies to treat Zika-infected individuals, including pregnant women for whom prevention of infection is no longer an option. They represent the greatest health crisis because a Zika infection during the first trimester confers the greatest risk of congenital microcephaly.”

Outbreaks of Zika virus in Brazil in 2015 and 2016 were marked by an increased incidence of newborns with congenital malformations, most notably undersized heads (microcephaly) and significant neurological abnormalities. A great deal of research has focused on the pathology of Zika infections, including earlier work by the Muotri lab and collaborators that described how the virus is transmitted from mother to fetus by infecting cells that, ironically, will later develop into the brain’s first and primary form of defense against invasive pathogens.

In its latest work, however, the Muotri lab sought clinical solutions. The team investigated an antiviral drug called sofosbuvir, approved and marketed under the brand name Sovaldi to treat and cure hepatitis C infections. The drug works by inhibiting replication of the hepatitis C virus; researchers noted that both hepatitis C and Zika belong to the same viral family and bore strong structural similarities that could make sofosbuvir effective against the latter. In addition, it had been reported that sofosbuvir was protective against Zika in different cell types.

In tests using human neural progenitor cells (NPCs) — self-renewing, multipotent cells that generate neurons and other brain cell types — the scientists found that exposure to sofosbuvir not only rescued dying NPCs infected with the Zika virus, but restored gene expression linked to their antiviral response.

In subsequent tests using an immunodeficient mouse model infected by Zika, intravenous injections of sofosbuvir significantly reduced viral loads in blood serum compared to a placebo group. Moreover, fetuses of Zika-infected pregnant mice did not show detectable Zika virus amplification in the sofosbuvir-treated group.

“This suggests that one, the drug was well-tolerated by the Zika-infected pregnant mice and two, more importantly, that it was able to arrest Zika replication in vivo and stop transmission from mother to fetus,” said Muotri.

The researchers emphasize that their findings are preliminary, with much more work to be done. “But they also illustrate the immediate translational potential of repurposing a drug that is already in wide clinical use for a similar viral infection,” Muotri said. “Until there is approval of a Zika vaccine, we think this is an approach that needs to be pursued whole-heartedly.”


Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles