Study: Antiviral protein may fight Ebola
Posted by tumicrobiology on March 20, 2007
German scientists have found an antiviral protein shown to inhibit other viruses might protect against Ebola and Marburg virus infections.
The Ebola and Marburg viruses belong to the Filoviridae family and cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and non-human primates. Filovirus infections are characterized by high fever, hemorrhages and shock and are responsible for mortality rates up to 90 percent. Currently, there is no vaccine or therapy available for treating infected patients.
In a previous study researchers found the zinc finger antiviral protein, or ZAP, capable of inhibiting Moloney murine leukemia virus and Sindbis virus replication.
In the new study, ZAP was tested for its antiviral activity in cells infected with Ebola and Marburg. Results showed up to 95 percent inhibition of Ebola, while Marburg was less significantly inhibited suggesting the antiviral effectiveness of ZAP may depend on the filovirus species.
The study conducted at the Bernhard-Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg is reported in the Journal of Virology.