Scientists closer to creating a cure for the Epstein-Barr virus, which infects 95% of people

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the US have shown that monoclonal antibodies targeting different regions of the Epstein-Barr virus provide almost complete protection of laboratory mice from infection.

Up to 95% of the world’s population is infected with the Epstein-Barr virus. After infection, it goes into a dormant state, but in some cases it can be activated, leading to infectious mononucleosis.

The virus has also been linked to some types of cancer, including Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis. There is no vaccine or treatment for the virus.

Researchers have developed several monoclonal antibodies that target the key surface proteins of the virus, gH and gL.

They are known to make it easier for the virus to enter cells. Blocking them with antibodies in the lab prevented infection of the immune and epithelial cells that line the throat, where infection usually occurs.

Using microscopy, the researchers identified several more vulnerabilities on the virus. When tested in mice, an antibody targeting one of these regions provided almost complete protection against infection.

In addition, this antibody protected nearly all mice tested against lymphoma caused by the virus.

The results obtained show the presence of viable targets for the Epstein-Barr virus vaccine and the possibility of using monoclonal antibodies to prevent or treat infection.


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