Researchers at the Blood Systems Research Institute (BSRI) recently found antibodies that have been effective in inhibiting the chikungunya virus in animal models.
One specific antibody, E2-W64, has been able to prevent viral material from entering and exiting cells.
"Inhibiting chikungunya virus, both at the points of entry and release from cells, is another important piece in the puzzle that could lead to new approaches in therapeutics and vaccines to fight infectious diseases," Graham Simmons, lead researcher of this study and associate investigator with the BSRI, said.
Simmons also noted that this discovery could be the key to finding a vaccination method that would be able to block multiple kinds of viruses.
The virus is typically spread through mosquito bites, spreading from its endemic areas. Symptoms include fever and severe joint pain, which can lead to arthritis following infection. At this time, no approved vaccine exists for chikungunya.
There is more research that needs to be completed in order to determine possible routes of infection, including if the virus could be spread through a blood transfusion. To date, no cases from transfusion have been reported.
This study was released by Cell Reports.