Great progress in fighting mosquito-borne viruses

A team consisting of researchers from Australia, Singapore, the UK, the USA, Brazil, and Ireland has made great progress in understanding the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases caused by alphaviruses, a group of small, spherical, enveloped viruses that are mainly transmitted by mosquitoes. The researchers have also found a molecule with the potential to treat these diseases.

Some mosquito-borne viruses, including alphaviruses, trigger serious inflammatory diseases in humans and animals. One member of the alphavirus genus, Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), can cause crippling joint inflammation and pain. CHIKV is a medically important virus and is widely distributed around the world, particularly in Africa, Latin America, India, and SE Asia. CHIKV is closely related to another alphavirus, known as Ross River virus (RRV), which also causes joint inflammation and pain and is mainly found in Australia and South Pacific.

The pathogenesis of alphavirus infections in humans is not completely understood, and there is a lack of effective therapies. So novel drugs are in urgent need.

In this work, the team discovered that CHIKV infection activates the inflammasome NLRP3 in both humans and mice. They made this discovery by analyzing blood cells from CHIKV-infected people and carrying out experiments in mouse models.

Using mouse models of CHIKV infection, the team found that activation of NLRP3 correlated with inflammatory symptoms. This led to a hypothesis that inhibition of NLRP3 activation could ameliorate inflammatory symptoms. The team then treated CHIKV-infected mice with a NLRP3 inhibitor called MCC950, and found that MCC950 treatment alleviated inflammation, bone loss, and myositis. However, MCC950 showed no significant effect on the replication of CHIKV in mice.

On the other hand, MCC950 also improved disease symptoms in mice infected with RRV.

In summary, the data demonstrate that NLRP3 is implicated in the pathogenesis of infections with CHIKV and RRV, and that inhibiting NLRP3 activation could be a strategy to combat these alphavirus diseases.

The study, titled "Specific inhibition of NLRP3 in chikungunya disease reveals a role for inflammasomes in alphavirus-induced inflammation," appears online 28 August 2017 in Nature Microbiology.

The research team is headed by Dr. Suresh Mahalingam, who is Principal Research Leader at Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University. Dr. Mahalingam has been studying arboviruses like CHIKV and RRV for years and has an international reputation in viral immunology. His research focuses on virus-host relationships and aims to develop new therapies.
About news
Call us
301-363-4651 (Available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST from Monday to Friday)
7505 Fannin St. Ste 610-312, Houston, TX 77054, USA
Join Us with

Subscribe newsletter

Leave a message

© 2007-2022 CUSABIO TECHNOLOGY LLC All rights reserved. 鄂ICP备15011166号-1