ABSTRACT Rabies virus, a neurotropic lyssavirus responsible for unavoidable fatal encephalitis, is transmitted by saliva of infected animals through bite, scratch or licking of broken skin or a mucous membrane. Infection can be prevented by timely prevention (wash for several minutes, antisepsis and vaccination completed by antirabies immunoglobulins [Ig] according to the severity of exposure). The 55,000 human deaths estimated annually worldwide result mainly from uncontrolled canine rabies in enzootic countries (particularly in Africa and in Asia), attributable to a lack of resources or interest for this disease. Bat rabies, henceforth first cause of human's rabies in many countries in America, affects a very small number of individuals but seems more difficult to control. Shortened vaccine protocols, rationalized use of Ig and development of products of substitution should enhance access of exposed patients to prevention. Finally, research on the biological cycle, the pathogeny and on escape of virus-induced mechanisms from the immune system should continue to pave the way for presently unknown treatments of clinical rabies.
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ABSTRACT: Immediate passive immune prophylaxis as part of rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) often cannot be provided due to limited availability of human or equine rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG and ERIG, respectively). We report first clinical data from two phase I studies evaluating a monoclonal antibody cocktail CL184 against rabies. The studies included healthy adult subjects in the USA and India and involved two parts. First, subjects received a single intramuscular dose of CL184 or placebo in a double blind, randomized, dose-escalation trial. Second, open-label CL184 (20IU/kg) was co-administered with rabies vaccine. Safety was the primary objective and rabies virus neutralizing activity (RVNA) was investigated as efficacy parameter. Pain at the CL184 injection site was reported by less than 40% of subjects; no fever or local induration, redness or swelling was observed. RVNA was detectable from day 1 to day 21 after a single dose of CL184 20 or 40IU/kg. All subjects had adequate (>0.5IU/mL) RVNA levels from day 14 onwards when combined with rabies vaccine. CL184 appears promising as an alternative to RIG in PEP.Vaccine 09/2008; 26(47):5922-7. DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.08.050 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Some mammalian rhabdoviruses may infect humans, and also infect invertebrates, dogs, and bats, which may act as vectors transmitting viruses among different host species. The VIZIER programme, an EU-funded FP6 program, has characterized viruses that belong to the Vesiculovirus, Ephemerovirus and Lyssavirus genera of the Rhabdoviridae family to perform ground-breaking research on the identification of potential new drug targets against these RNA viruses through comprehensive structural characterization of the replicative machinery. The contribution of VIZIER programme was of several orders. First, it contributed substantially to research aimed at understanding the origin, evolution and diversity of rhabdoviruses. This diversity was then used to obtain further structural information on the proteins involved in replication. Two strategies were used to produce recombinant proteins by expression of both full length or domain constructs in either E. coli or insect cells, using the baculovirus system. In both cases, parallel cloning and expression screening at small-scale of multiple constructs based on different viruses including the addition of fusion tags, was key to the rapid generation of expression data. As a result, some progress has been made in the VIZIER programme towards dissecting the multi-functional L protein into components suitable for structural and functional studies. However, the phosphoprotein polymerase co-factor and the structural matrix protein, which play a number of roles during viral replication and drives viral assembly, have both proved much more amenable to structural biology. Applying the multi-construct/multi-virus approach central to protein production processes in VIZIER has yielded new structural information which may ultimately be exploitable in the derivation of novel ways of intervening in viral replication.Antiviral research 02/2010; 87(2):149-61. DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2010.02.322 · 3.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Prevention of clinical disease in those exposed to viral infection is an important goal of human medicine. Using rabies virus infection as an example, we discuss the advances in passive immunoprophylaxis, most notably the shift from the recommended polyclonal human or equine immunoglobulins to monoclonal antibody therapies. The first rabies-specific monoclonal antibodies are undergoing clinical trials, so passive immunisation might finally become an accessible, affordable, and routinely used part of global health practices for rabies. Coupled with an adequate supply of modern tissue-culture vaccines, replacing the less efficient and unsafe nerve-tissue-derived rabies vaccines, the burden of this disease could be substantially reduced.The Lancet Infectious Diseases 05/2012; 12(5):397-407. DOI:10.1016/S1473-3099(11)70340-1 · 19.45 Impact Factor