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Discovery could be key to bioterrorism defense

edings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We identified genes that are coded for known and predicted cell surface proteins that were missing from the resistant cell line," Dr. Broder said. "The genes were put into cells that were then exposed to a live virus at AAHL."

Hendra virus was first isolated in 1994 when an outbreak of respiratory and neurologic disease emerged among horses and humans in Hendra, Australia, killing two people. Hendra recently reemerged in Queensland, Australia, and researchers there isolated the virus at the biosafety level 4 facility.

Nipah virus, which is similar to and in the same genus as Hendra, was initially isolated in 1999, when a large outbreak of encephalitis and respiratory illness occurred in Malaysia and Singapore, killing more than 100 people. Last year, two further Nipah virus outbreaks occurred in Bangladesh, killing roughly 75% of those infected. Scientists are disturbed by the fact that many of these recent cases involved human-to-human transmission of Nipah, which originates in bats.

Ephrin-B2 is found on cells in the central nervous system, as well as in cells lining blood vessels. It is essential for central nervous system development and blood vessel growth in the embryos of humans and other mammals.

Broder and his team are among only a handful of scientists focusing on the viruses, which have been under investigation by USU researchers since 2000. Broder is a principal investigator on one of six projects from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases funded by NIH.

The research has led to two inventions on which USU and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine have filed patent applications.

The first patent application, "Soluble forms of Hendra Virus and Nipah Virus G glycoprotein," covers the production and use of the soluble G glycoprotein. This protein has utility as a vacc
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Source:Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine


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