Navigation Links
Type of viral infection of eye associated with disease causing blindness in the elderly
Date:5/21/2012

ATLANTA A team of researchers, including a scientist from the Viral Immunology Center at Georgia State University, have found that a type of herpesvirus infection of the eye is associated with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that causes blindness in the elderly.

The scientists found that human cytomegalovirus, a type of herpesvirus, causes the production of vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, a signal protein that regulates the formation of new blood vessels.

With the formation of new blood vessels, retinal tissue destruction occurs, leading to the development of "wet" AMD and eventually, vision loss and blindness. The results were published in PLoS Pathogens, a journal of the Public Library of Science.

"Prior to this work, cofactors for the development of AMD included genetics, a high fat diet and smoking. Now, we are adding an infections agent as another cofactor," said Richard D. Dix, professor at the Georgia State Viral Immunology Center's Ocular Virology and Immunology Laboratory.

The research team includes Dix, Scott W. Cousins, Diego G. Espinosa-Heidmann, Daniel M. Miller, Simone Pereira-Simon, Eleut P. Hernandez, Hsin Chien and Courtney Meier-Jewett.

Affiliated research institutions include the Duke University Eye Center, the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the Viral Immunology Center at Georgia State, and the Department of Ophthalmology at the Emory University School of Medicine.

Human cytomegalovirus is a common herpesvirus, said Dix, who is also an adjunct professor of ophthalmology at the Emory University School of Medicine. About 80 percent of the population is estimated to have antibodies for the virus, and it is often acquired during childhood.

If a person has a normal, healthy immune system, the virus becomes latent in the cells of bone marrow and blood, he said. But in the elderly, the immune system's function is reduced, the virus proliferates, and the production of VEGF increases.

Identifying human cytomegalovirus as a cofactor in the development of AMD opens up new paths for the treatment of AMD, Dix said. One route could include reducing the viral load the amount of the human cytomegalovirus in the blood stream by treatment with an antiviral drug known as ganciclovir.

Additional research paths include looking at the genetics involved in the upregulation of VEGF by human cytomegalovirus.

"If we can knock down a certain gene or genes of the virus that stimulates VEGF production, we might be able to decrease it production and minimize AMD," Dix said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeremy Craig
jcraig@gsu.edu
404-413-1357
Georgia State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Gastroenterology special issue focuses on new directions of viral hepatitis care and research
2. A*STAR scientists discover switch to boost anti-viral response to fight infectious diseases
3. Pig stomach mucins are effective as anti-viral agents for consumer products
4. Junk DNA can sense viral infection
5. Video publication goes viral
6. UC San Diego among first in nation to treat brain cancer with novel viral vector
7. Ragon Institute study finds HIV-specific CD4 cells that control viral levels
8. Partners Viral Load a Major Factor in HIV Transmission: Study
9. Viral load a major factor affecting risk of sexually transmitting HIV
10. Pep talk can revive immune cells exhausted by chronic viral infection
11. Ohio State researchers design a viral vector to treat a genetic form of blindness
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/7/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... 2016 Top 20 Marketing Campaign Winner in the Folio: Marketing Awards competition. Live ... recognize the year’s best in pioneering, inventive, and ultimately successful projects undertaken by ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... City, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... during the holidays and winter seasons. One major study analyzing heart attacks among ... compared to August of a given year. We would all agree of course–no time ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... "ProBrand Flip allows FCPX ... media," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProBrand Flip includes ... use drop zones. Editors can select from a variety of flip book animations. In ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... CINCINNATI, Ohio (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 ... ... winner in the 2016 BOC Business Brilliance Awards under the Best New Product ... inception and results achieved through user experience. , BOC Global Events & Training ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... its newest portable bioelectronic medicine device WellnessPro Plus for consumers and healthcare ... enhances the WellnessPro platform by expanding the treatment modalities available in a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016  Nearly 30 million people ... from the epidemic of diabetes. 1 However, nearly ... elevated glucose levels (hyperglycemia) and significant glucose variability. 2 ... complications, including cardiovascular events. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can ... eye disease or blindness. 3 As ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... With opioids commonly used for pain management for workplace ... that has led to nationwide fatalities. The synthetic opioid ... than heroin or morphine, resulting in likelihood of addiction, abuse or ... , , ... operations, Behavioral Health for HMC HealthWorks, explained the opioid drug is ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016  Blueprint Medicines Corporation ... and developing targeted kinase medicines for patients with genomically ... underwritten public offering of $125,000,000 million in shares of ... grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up ... its common stock in connection with the public offering. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: