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New study may show how to forestall a fatal, virus-caused immune-system meltdown

ed with cancers was activated late in infection with the lethal strain of the virus. “We can go in and design an experiment where we can start testing drugs that already have FDA approval,?Bowick said. “If we can go straight from discovery to drug candidates, that’s quite a big leap for us, and one that may be very helpful, since there’s really no incentive for drug companies to go out and develop new antiviral compounds for viruses that may or may not ever make it out of places like West Africa.?

“This could be of critical importance to the people who live there, and for us if one of these diseases makes it across to here, either naturally like West Nile or as a result of bioterrorism,?Bowick continued. He noted that the Lassa, Ebola and Marburg fever viruses have been identified as Category A biothreat agents by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Other authors of the Journal of Virology paper included UTMB research associates Susan Fennewald, LiHong Zhang and Barry Elsom, associate professor of pathology Judith Aronson, biochemistry and molecular biology instructor Heidi Spratt, and biochemistry and molecular biology professors David Gorenstein and Bruce Luxon. Funding for the investigation was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institutes of Health, and the NIAID’s Western Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease Research.


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Source:University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston


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