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HJF works with global team to develop equine vaccine against deadly hendra virus
Date:11/1/2012

e, as it helps prevent the horse from both developing the disease and transmitting the virus to other horses and to humans. Current experiments have shown that vaccinated horses survived infection by Hendra virus and have shown no evidence of virus, disease, replication or shedding of the virus, a critical finding to help prevent transmission.

"The vaccine component is a soluble portion of a Hendra virus G glycoprotein, known as Hendra-sG. It is this glycoprotein that mediates viral infection. If you block its function, you block virus infection," Broder said. Bossart developed Hendra-sG while a student in Broder's laboratory at USU. This is a type of vaccine known as a subunit, which is safe to use.

"We have shown that vaccination with test formulations containing Hendra-sG to be effective in helping to prevent Hendra infection. Studies with Hendra-sG glycoprotein have shown promise in helping to prevent infection by its close relative, Nipah virus," Broder said. The Hendra-sG glycoprotein results in horses confirm earlier experimental work by Broder and his colleagues, where formulation containing the protein was shown to be protective in other animal models of Hendra and Nipah virus infection, including ferret, feline and nonhuman primates. The viruses are found in several bat species in the Eastern hemisphere, but increasing evidence suggests they may be more widespread, stretching from Asia to West Africa.

Hendra virus has been found only in Australia. The nation experienced an unprecedented number of 18 outbreaks across Queensland and New South Wales in 2011, during which 22 horses died or were euthanized. Authorities detected the first case of Hendra virus antibodies in a dog within a natural environment that same year. The virus has appeared seven times in 2012, causing equine deaths and cases of human exposure to infection. In July 2012, a woman with significant exposure risk was given an experimental human monoclonal antibody t
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Contact: Colleen Franklin
cfranklin@hjf.org
240-694-2075
Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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