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Dengue discovery offers hope

Monday August 5th, 2013

Four kinds of virus cause Dengue disease - and now researchers say there are "significant" differences between the four types.

The researchers from Bristol University, UK, say their discoveries could help the development of therapies against the disease - which is causing growing problems worldwide as other tropical diseases are contained.

There are no vaccines or effective anti-viral therapies for the disease, which can cause a fatal fever.

The latest findings come from a study of the NS5 protein, thought to be essential for replication of the virus.

Reporting in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the researchers say this critical protein is found in different places in the four forms of the virus.

Researcher Dr Andrew Davidson said: "The study shows for the first time that there may be significant differences in specific properties of the viral proteins for the four DENV types.

"This is important as it impacts on our understanding of viral replication and pathogenesis and the design of anti-viral therapies that are effective against all DENV types."

Serotype-specific Differences in Dengue Virus Non-structural Protein 5 Nuclear Localization. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2 August 2013; Vol. 288, Issue 31, 22621-22635

Tags: Flu & Viruses | Pharmaceuticals | UK News | World Health

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