Technology offer : RNA interference to combat morbillivirus infections
Morbilliviruses cause serious diseases in man and domestic animals. Although vaccines do exist, sources of infection persist and mortality remains high. In fact, vaccines are rarely used systematically to prevent reinfection and are only effective 7 to 10 days after being administered. Hence, the need for complementary therapeutic solutions.
For the past few years, CIRAD has been exploring the potential of RNA interference (RNAi). RNAi interference is achieved by the delivery of small interfering RNAs (siRNA) in the cell cytoplasm where they combine specifically with the virus’ target messenger RNA. Thus, they inhibit the virus’ multiplication by preventing the translation into proteins.
After sequencing the genome of the vaccine virus, resarchers identified targets sequences on the N gene, which codes for the viral nucleoprotein and is involved in the replication of the virus. The RNAi targets and their complementary siRNA molecules were patented by CIRAD.
The in vivo effectiveness has been validated on non infectious mouse model.