Health

New hope to prevent mono virus, cancer and multiple sclerosis


Epstein-Barr is primarily known as the cause of mononucleosis. It infects immune cells in the body and causes them to abnormally proliferate. It is mainly associated with sore throat and upper respiratory tract symptoms.

Currently, there is no approved vaccine that protects against Epstein-Barr virus, which infects more than 95% of adults worldwide.

EBV is also the first human virus to be linked to cancers, mainly lymphoma and stomach cancer. Viruses cause more than 200,000 cases of cancer each year.

Recently, researchers also learned that a person’s risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) is increased 32 times if they are infected with Epstein-Barr.

The Epstein-Barr virus is a bit difficult to prevent because it lives in antibody-producing immune cells and epithelial cells that line surfaces inside and outside the body. It is believed that EBV triggers MS by tricking the immune system into attacking the body’s nerve cells.

The new vaccines are genetically engineered to induce an immune response that can block infection of both types of cells, through a substance called ferritin.

That allows us to reduce any foothold the virus might take to establish itself in the bodyGary Nabel, president and CEO of ModeX Therapeutics, a small biotech startup in Natick, Mass.

The immune system sees the proteins that infect the virus and mounts a response that would theoretically protect against future actual viral infections. The vaccines prompted strong antibody responses in mice, ferrets, and monkeys.

However, it is important to note that results obtained from animal studies are not always repeatable in humans. The researchers hope to begin human clinical trials of the vaccine within a year.

Source: Medindia



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