A New Monoclonal Antibody Can Suppress Nipah Virus Infection

Release Date: 30-Sep-2019

Recently, a new monoclonal antibody has been developed by the researchers, which is able to inhibit the fusion machinery henipaviruses, which results in the merging of virus with the cells. The antibody restricts the attack by blocking membrane fusion and the injection of the viral genome into the host cell. The researchers said they are working on this type of preparations and the laboratory discoveries will act as an initial step in the way toward preventing Nipah virus and Hendra virus infections. It can also provide a solution for post-exposure therapy.


Currently, no approved therapeutic treatments are available in the market for these infections in people. Some patients have been given experimental therapies under compassionate-use exceptions. Several alternative methods are also employed such as veterinary medicine approaches, and farming and wildlife health measures, for finding the way of controlling these infections.


The study of newly developed monoclonal antibody also known as anti-fusion monoclonal antibody were headed by senior researchers David Veesler of the University of Washington School of Medicine's Department of Biochemistry in Seattle, and Christopher Broder of the Uniformed Services University's Department of Microbiology and Immunology in Bethesda, Maryland.


The researchers explained that Nipah and Hendra viruses enter animal or human cells through the concerted action of the attachment and fusion glycoproteins. After the virus lands on the cell surface, the attachment protein undergoes a shape change that prompts the fusion protein to insert a fusion peptide into the cell membrane. The Nipah virus has been transmitted from bat to pig and from pig to the farmers of Malaise and Singapore.


In this recent study, scientists isolated potent monoclonal antibodies that neutralize both the viruses. After that, they studied its mode of action using molecular imaging via cryo-electron microscopy and biochemical and cellular experiments. These studies revealed that the antibody recognizes and binds to a specific area of the viral membrane fusion machinery during the pre-fusion stage


The research team is expected that future scheduled experiments involving different antiviral monoclonal antibodies that attack distinct targets on Nipah and Hendra viruses will demonstrate enhanced therapeutic benefit to infected individuals.

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