Development of New Therapy For Treating West Nile Virus

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

Development of new RNA therapy for the treatment of West Nile Virus by a team of researchers from the Yale University.


A research team from the Yale University has developed a new RNA therapy to treat mice infected with the West Nile Virus.

This innovative approach helps in reducing the virus in the brain of the mice, by allowing the immune system to destroy the virus and develop a long-term protection against the West Nile Virus disease.



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The study has appeared in the periodical “Cell Host & Microbe,” which reveals the breakthrough strategy for the treatment of West Nile Virus after virus attack the central nervous system and the brain.

There are no effective therapies or approved vaccines for the West Nile Virus disease, a mosquito-borne condition, till now.

While many infected individuals have no symptoms, but sometimes they can develop a severe neurological problem and even die from the disease. The sporadic nature of the disease makes it difficult for testing and implementing vaccines.

The RNA therapy acts against the multiple mosquito-borne flaviviruses. To direct the RNA towards the infected cells, researchers packaged it in a peptide which was derived from the rabies virus and is able to enter the nerve cells.

After this, the final step was to the deliver the therapy into the mice through the nose where it could bypass natural barriers protecting the brain.

With this novel approach, the researchers found that the therapy actually helps in reducing the virus in the brain by preventing harm to other nerve cells.

With this therapy, the immune system has cleared the virus throughout the body, and also enabled the body for a long-term protection against future exposure.

The researchers concluded that the treatment has also offered a late-stage therapy and lifelong immunity.



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What is West Nile Virus?


West Nile Virus (WNV) is a virus that most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. Cases of this virus occur during mosquito season.

There are no vaccines for preventing or treating WNV.

Usually, most people infected with WNV do not have any kind of symptoms. About 2 in 10 people who are infected will develop a fever and other symptoms.

Only about 1 out of 150 infected people are more likely to develop a serious, such as fatal, illness.

A person can reduce the risk of the virus by using an insect repellent cream, wearing long-sleeved shirts, and long pants for preventing mosquito bites.



With the development of new RNA therapy for West Nile Virus, several people can be cured by this disease.



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