West Nile Vaccine Proves Effective in Mice
A research team at Washington University in St. Louis has developed an antibody that cures mice of West Nile disease. The research was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Akinso: The day may soon be at hand when you will be able to sit on your patio on a warm summer evening without worrying about contracting West Nile disease from an infected mosquito. A research team at Washington University in Saint Louis developed a West Nile antibody that cures mice of the disease. This research work — funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — could possibly warrant further development, and testing in people with West Nile disease — according to Doctor Michael Diamond, Washington University Senior Investigator.
Diamond: In order to show that it would have therapeutic activity, [you] need to do it in an animal. And, the mouse is a convenient model, because West Nile virus infects mice similarly as it infects humans. So, after we established which antibodies actually were able to block infection in cells, we then put the antibodies into mice — and saw whether they can protect infection in mice.
Akinso: Doctor Diamond says — although the results of the study are positive — there's still more work that needs to be done.
Diamond: I would say that we have good, suggestive, pre-clinical data that antibody therapy might be a way to treat certain types of infections. With 'West Nile' virus, it certainly works with the mouse. But, there needs to be a number of studies done, to show that this is actually going to be a viable treatment for humans.
Akinso: This is Wally Akinso, at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Wally Akinso
Sound Bite: Dr. Michael Diamond
Topic: West Nile Virus