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New Treatment for Feline Herpesvirus

Winn Funded Research

Wilkes RP, Kania SA. Use of interfering RNAs targeted against feline herpesvirus 1 glycoprotein D for inhibition of feline herpesvirus 1 infection of feline kidney cells. Am J Vet Res 2009; 70: 1018-25.

Feline herpesvirus causes at least 50% of upper respiratory infections in the cat. While vaccines are available, the virus persists in cat populations and spreads readily from infected to naive cats. As well, chronic disease occurs in latently infected cats. Most antiviral medications approved for a similar virus in people are either too toxic for cats or are only minimally effective. Small interfering RNAs (RNAi) are novel therapies that can be used to inhibit expression of genes of interest. This study evaluated the use of RNAi targeted against feline herpesvirus glycoprotein D in order to inhibit herpesvirus infection of cell cultures. Six chemically produced RNAi constructs were evaluated, and two of them proved highly effective in reducing expression of the target glycoprotein. Treatment of cell cultures with RNAi resulted in inhibition of herpesvirus replication. The researchers were able to show that glycoprotein D is essential for the virus to infect cells, and is a potential new target for antiviral treatment. [SL]
>> PubMed Abstract

Related articles:
Thiry E, Addie D, Belak S, et al. Feline herpesvirus infection. ABCD guidelines on prevention and management. J Feline Med Surg 2009; 11: 547-55.

Malik R, Lessels NS, Webb S, et al. Treatment of feline herpesvirus-1 associated disease in cats with famciclovir and related drugs. Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery 2009; 11: 40-48.
>> PubMed Abstract