Texas Researchers Find Possible West Nile Cure

Although an effective cure for the West Nile Virus has not yet been found, researchers may have found a potential way to kill the virus. Researchers at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in El Paso have discovered a way to kill the West Nile Virus with ribonucleic acid or RNA. Dr. Manjunath Swamy and his team have even found a way to use the idea to work in mice.

Dr. Swamy and his team developed a process that make use of saRNA, molecules that target a certain part involved in DNA replication and signal the DNA not to recreate that certain part. This means that WNV infected strands of DNA would no longer replicate. This will allow the infected strands to die out as the cells grow old.

According to Dr. Swamy, “Essentially what we do is use short double stranded RNA’s and deploy them so they attack the West Nile genome and destroy them. We are trying to use this technology as an anti-viral agent and what we find is that RNA’s work greatly in suppressing virus multiplication.”

What Dr. Swamy and his team are working on may not be considered a vaccine. It won’t prevent people from ever getting infected by the disease. It is a means to kill the West Nile Virus once a person gets infected. Dr. Swamy is hoping that clinical trials for their potential WNV treatment will commence by next year. But even then, getting FDA approval would take at least 5 years more at the earliest before the treatment gets to the WNV infected patients.  And even then, there would be no guarantee that the medicine may even work effectively.

Source: KLTV

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