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Pitt research sheds new light on virus associated with developmental delays and deafness
Date:11/28/2012

ual ability
  • iPS-derived mature neurons are more susceptible to CMV infection and once infected show effects including defective function that have been shown in other animal studies and in other human tissues, and the neurons die a few days after infection lab studies, possibly reflecting the impact of CMV on the human brain

    "The findings were quite surprising, but this is only the first in a series of studies on HCMV," added Nimgaonkar. "There is a lot of interest in what we can do to treat the infection, and current work is already underway to screen for new drugs that could be used to fight these viruses."

    Between 50 and 80 percent of people in the U.S. have been infected by HCMV by the time they reach 40. Infections are rarely serious, but the virus does not leave the body. CMV is also the most common congenital infection in the U.S., and occurs when a mother contracts CMV during pregnancy and passes the virus to her unborn child. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of every 150 children is born with CMV infection and one in five of them develops permanent problems, such as intellectual disability, vision and hearing loss, and seizures.

    Pitt researchers are collaborating with the Drug Discovery Institute to further understand the cellular system and determine which agents are most effective against HCMV and similar viruses, and which treatments would be safe for human use.


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  • Contact: Cristina Mestre
    MestreCA@upmc.edu
    412-586-9776
    University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
    Source:Eurekalert

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