Finding New Ways to Cure Human Cytomegalovirus Disease
Christopher Benedict, Ph.D.
La Jolla Institute for Immunology
Categories: Infectious Disease
Blocking a novel trimeric protein complex that mediates HCMV entry into host cells
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous herpesvirus carried by the majority of people. While most are asymptomatic, in those with compromised immunity this virus can promote transplant rejection, vascular disease, cancer and other autoimmune disorders. Additionally, HCMV is the #1 infectious cause of congenital birth defects, the primary reason a vaccine is being actively developed.
A discovery made by researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology and Louisiana State University is a composition that could aid not only in its detection but more importantly, in the prevention of and amelioration of persistent HCMV infection.
Dr. Chris Benedict and his team of collaborators have demonstrated that the HCMV glycoprotein UL141, previously shown by his group to inhibit the immune response to this virus, is also incorporated into the viral particle.