A novel antiviral to combat dengue infection, disease and transmission
Dr David Harrich
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia
Dengue virus is an important mosquito-borne viral disease in humans. Dengue virus inflicts 390 million people annually in more than 100 countries. Currently, no specific anti-viral treatment for dengue infection is available. This project will develop an innovative therapeutic agent to treat dengue infection in patients. The approach is based on defective interfering particles or DIPs, which are able to robustly inhibit dengue virus infections. DIPs represent a novel approach for developing an anti-viral for dengue infection because they are a specific, effective and non-toxic dengue inhibitor. DIPs are reported to co-evolve with the infectious virus thereby potentially preventing development of viral escape mutants. This study will evaluate the ability of DIPs to attenuate infection and disease by dengue virus in vivo, it will determine if DIPs can block transmission of dengue virus between vertebrates and mosquitoes and investigate co-evolution of dengue virus and DIPs.