Evening Ebola Update, Fri, 2/6: EBOV/SARS ‘delay’ to capture more cathepsin activity/Use survivors as HCW for EBOV infants/IMF comes through for Africa   Leave a comment


Dear Colleagues:

1.  Journal of Virology March, 2015, has published on-line an article by Mingo, et. al. from University of Virginia and Fort Detrick re: delayed release of viral particles into the cytoplasm of EBOV infected and SARS infected cells.  The 30 minute delay in release is believed to be due to EBOV and SARS seeking higher levels of cathepsin activity.  In the article Discussion the authors write:

“A devastating outbreak of EBOV occurred in West Africa in 2014, and there was a significant outbreak of SARS in 2003. No effective vaccine or treatment has yet been approved for either virus. We present evidence that both viruses traffic late into the endocytic pathway, to NPC1+ LE/Lys, in order to enter host cells, and that they do so to access high levels of cathepsin activity, which both viruses use in their fusion-triggering mechanisms. This unexpected similarity suggests an unexplored vulnerability, trafficking to NPC1+ LE/Lys, as a therapeutic target for SARS and EBOV.”

Read the entire article at: http://jvi.asm.org/content/89/5/2931.full?sid=5476d663-d85f-4a79-8dd9-37b783439fe6:

2.  Voice of America reports that WHO has convened officials from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, DRC, and Uganda in Geneva to discuss how to aid EBOV survivors, especially young children.  Because of the “no touch’ policy of HCW during EBOV treatment, young children who survive EBOV infection are left with deep psychological problems.  Furthermore, the “no touch” policy may have led to EBOV mortality of > 90% in children under 1 year old.  These infants require much “touching” in normal conditions to feed and care for them; this degree of “touching’ cannot be given in EBOV treatment centers.  One possibility is to use EBOV survivors as HCW for infants in EBOV treatment centers.  See the VOA report at: http://www.voanews.com/content/who-ebola-survivor-care/2631906.html

3.  The Guardian and Reuters have reported that the IMF has granted debt relief of $100 Million to West African countries with EBOV cases as well as $160 Million in no-interest loans to these countries.  See: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/05/imf-ebola-debt-relief-sierra-leone-guinea-liberia and http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/05/us-health-ebola-imf-idUSKBN0L926820150205 for more details.



Posted February 7, 2015 by levittrg in Ebola

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