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MT10-007: Evaluation of topical delivery methods for the introduction of siRNAs into feline corneal cells in vivo

Feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1) is a DNA virus that produces the most clinically significant respiratory disease of cats. Antiviral medications approved for treatment of HSV-1 in humans are only minimally effective for treatment of chronic herpesvirus cases in cats. In an effort to identify a better treatment modality for this disease, a previously funded study evaluated RNA interference (RNAi) as a therapeutic method for suppression of FHV-1 infection in feline cells. It was discovered that RNA interference can be used to dramatically reduce FHV-1 replication in an immortalized cell line and in primary corneal epithelial cells by targeting essential viral genes. Based on the in vitro results, RNA interference is a potential therapeutic for FHV-1. The goal of this study is to determine if this therapeutic modality can be used topically and to identify the best carrier agent to deliver this therapeutic into corneal cells in vivo.

Grant ID: MT10-007

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2010

Amount awarded: $24,780

Investigator: Rebecca P. Wilkes, Daniel A. Ward, Kim Newkirk, University of Tennessee