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    HomeUnited StatesU.S MarinesPotential Rabies Cure Discovered by Defense Department Researchers

    Potential Rabies Cure Discovered by Defense Department Researchers

    Potential Rabies Cure Discovered by Defense Department Researchers

    Rabies is a deadly virus for which there is no cure, killing an estimated 60,000 people per year around the globe.

    But researchers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences have discovered a way to neutralize the virus in mice — a breakthrough that could lead to a potential treatment for humans who have contracted the disease.

    Currently, anyone who is bitten by a rabid animal has a short window to get a vaccine to prevent the virus from invading the central nervous system. Once that happens and symptoms appear, the disease is nearly always fatal.

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    The challenge in finding a cure has been that the type of virus that causes it, a lyssavirus, spreads through the central nervous system to infect the brain, which is protected by a blood-brain barrier that prevents most medications from reaching it.

    The rabies virus seems to strengthen this barrier further, thwarting any potential treatments once the virus has invaded.

    The researchers appear to have found a way to sidestep the barrier using the body's own immune system. The team, led Brian Schaefer and Christopher Broder, professors at USUHS' Department of Microbiology and Immunology, injected mice infected with rabies with a monoclonal antibody derived from a virus similar to rabies known as an Australian bat lyssavirus.

    The single dose reversed signs of disease, even…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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