UQ discovery could lead to potential dengue treatment

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The University of Queensland in Australia announced that researchers have discovered how the body reacts to dengue virus, which could lead to the repurposing of treatments in clinical trials.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus and largely affects tropical and sub-tropical regions. According to the university, it will infect approximately 400 million people globally each year. 

Researchers found similarities between the dengue virus and its associated NS1 protein's and bacterial processes of causing septic shock.

“For the past 20 to 30 years, researchers and pharmaceutical companies have been developing drug candidates to inhibit the body’s damaging responses to these bacterial infections," Paul Young, head professor of the School of Chemistry and Biosciences, said. “So drugs are already available that have gone through Phase 3 clinical trials."

The disease typically presents itself as a fever that can escalate into hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome. The university reports that approximately 25,000 annual deaths can be attributed to dengue hemorrhagic fever.

“Despite this significant global health burden, no vaccine or drug has yet been licensed,” Young said.

Young is joined in research by Associate Professor Kate Stacey, Research Fellow Dan Watterson and doctoral student Naphak Modhiran. 

Organizations in this story

University of Queensland St Lucia Brisbane, QLD

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