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:4/24/2017)... Seattle, Washington (PRWEB) , ... April 24, 2017 , ... ... T-Fal OptiGrill, Oxiclean, Space Bag, Sonicare Toothbrush, Juiceman Juicer, and the George Foreman Grill ... than perhaps any other marketer in the last 25 years. , Now, due to ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... The world-class designers ... to bring their novel lifesaving device for the everyday use of parents worldwide. ... specially designed to read a child’s vital signs, and detect unusual symptoms or ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... According to ... deaths now claim the lives of 62 Americans each day.(1) Yet since 2011, ... manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies and prescribers by more than half.(2) Novus Medical Detox ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... Pitavastatin, ... HIV because it is not known to have significant interactions with antiretroviral therapy ... both lower cholesterol levels and dampen inflammation in the bloodstream. , While lowering ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... FOREST KNOLLS, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... April 24, 2017 , ... ... and health topics, but she has not found any of them to be very ... weekly actions to slowly and easily make changes in their health. It prompted her ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... , April 21, 2017 Halo Labs ... throughput biopharmaceutical particle analysis system called the Horizon at ... May 1st. The new system analyzes sub visible particulate ... time rapid particle screening as early as candidate selection ... with leading biopharma contract research organization Elion Labs ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation ... therapeutics that address significant unmet medical needs, today ... the Company,s consumer product development program, based on ... Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) 76 th ... and promote the sciences relevant to skin health ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017 Research and ... Market Size, Market Share, Application Analysis, Regional Outlook, Growth Trends, ... report to their offering. ... The global pharmacogenomics market was valued at US$ 7,167.6 Mn ... by 2024, expanding at a CAGR of 5.6% from 2016 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: