Navigation Links
BUSM faculty author commentary on the global challenges of emerging viral infections
Date:3/18/2011

(Boston) Paul Duprex, PhD, and Elke Mhlberger, PhD, both associate professors of microbiology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), recently co-authored a commentary about viruses for Microbiology Today, the monthly publication of the Society of General Microbiology, which is the largest microbiological society in Europe. The article focuses on the history of viruses and vaccines and gives their perspective on what is necessary to evolve to the next era of virology research.

The ability to grow cells from humans and other animals in the laboratory helped researchers generate vaccines against a range of viruses such as measles, chickenpox and hepatitis A and B, all of which were developed by Maurice Hilleman in the 1950s. A seminal moment in vaccinology occurred in 1979 when the World Health Organization formally announced the eradication of smallpox, which, said the authors, was a result of an unprecedented collaboration between governments, donors, industry and health professionals.

Recent advances in molecular biology, which allow the complete genome sequence of a virus to be determined alongside huge strides in synthetic biology, now permits researchers to create viruses in the laboratory, even if they only have access to the genomic DNA sequence. The authors argue that this means it is no longer possible to formally eradicate a virus from the globe and that elimination for circulation is a much more attractive goal. Moreover, the authors argue that "emerging and re-emerging viruses will be a continuing threat to human health because of their amazing potential to adapt to their current hosts, to switch to new hosts and to evolve strategies to escape antiviral measures," highlighting the increased risks of naturally occurring infections or bioterrorism attacks.

"Viruses can be manipulated in many ways, including the replacement and addition of extra genes, and genomes have been both split and rearranged in previously unimaginable ways," said the authors. They also make the claim that there needs to be a more clear understanding between the how viruses develop and become more or less virulent. That understanding, said the authors, will lead to a paradigm shift in vaccinology, "from simple to targeted isolation; from empirical to rational attenuation and from non-specific to tissue-targeted vaccination."

"Emerging viruses are not restricted to the developing world and stark lessons and significant economic costs are associated with the to-this-day-unexplained introduction of West Nile virus into the US," said the authors. "This crystallizes why these emerging pathogens matter from both public health and economic standpoints."

The authors underscore the importance of global collaboration among virology researchers as they continue to confront emerging pathogens and develop novel ways to treat viruses.

"A long overdue renaissance in vaccinology has commenced, and it is with anticipation and excitement that we wait to see progress in the next decade," said the authors in closing.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jenny Eriksen
jenny.eriksen@bmc.org
617-638-6841
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 6 LSU College of Science faculty named AAAS Fellows
2. 3 WUSTL faculty named AAAS Fellows
3. Nature honors outstanding faculty mentor
4. UC Riverside faculty member joins elite group of entomologists
5. JHSPH faculty tackles immune system differences between the sexes
6. $400,000 NRC grant to develop nuclear engineering faculty at Clemson
7. UMCES fisheries biologist Dr. David Secor receives USM Regents Faculty Award for research
8. U of I faculty assist in evaluating US food security programs
9. St. Jude faculty member named American Association for the Advancement of Science 2009 Fellow
10. 2 UNH faculty receive $1.4M in CAREER grants from NSF
11. Iowa State faculty attract $4.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a new ... higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health ... mass index, and, when they opt in, share them ... to a local retail location at no cost. By ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... 22, 2016 According ... Market for Consumer Industry by Type (Image, Motion, ... (Communication & IT, Entertainment, Home Appliances, & ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... reach USD 26.76 Billion by 2022, at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Global demand for enzymes is forecast to grow ... billion.  This market includes enzymes used in industrial ... animal feed, and other markets) and specialty applications ... beverages will remain the largest market for enzymes, ... containing enzymes in developing regions.  These and other ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Cancer experts ... they believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma. ... here to read it now. , Biomarkers are components in the blood, ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. Hoffmann, former senior ... the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School effective June 27. ... Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading classes and participating ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... discussions on a range of subjects including policies, debt and ... Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian ... to the country,s inflation target, which is set by both ... "In certain areas there needs to be ... why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
Breaking Biology Technology: