New research offers hope for vaccine and therapies for deadly infections

December 20, 2013

LOS ANGELES - (Dec. 20, 2013) - Mucormycosis is a deadly infection that strikes people with weakened immune systems when certain types of fungi, called Mucorales, invade the patients' cells. A novel protein on the surface of the Mucorales cells, called CotH, makes this invasion possible.

In a finding that could lead to the development of a vaccine and therapies for mucormycosis, a research team at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) reported today in an online, ahead-of-print study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that they can prevent human cell invasion and successfully treat mucormycosis in disease models using antibodies that block the CotH protein.

"There are no vaccines or effective therapies available today to halt the highly fatal mucormycosis infection, and there is an urgent need for these strategies to protect patients with weakened immune systems," said Ashraf S. Ibrahim, PhD, an LA BioMed lead researcher and corresponding author for the study. "Our research lays the groundwork for developing the antibodies to prevent and treat mucormycosis in high-risk patients. These findings also could lead to diagnostic tests for the disease."

Patients with weakened immune systems, malnutrition or acidosis (hyperglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis) are at increased risk of infection. Dr Ibrahim's group found treatment with anti-CotH antibodies or CotH-targeted RNAi blocked the cell invasion and protected against mucormycosis. In a commentary accompanying the research, J. Andrew Alspaugh, MD, professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at Duke University Medical Center, discusses how these findings could contribute to the development of mucormycosis therapies.
-end-
The study and the accompanying editorial will be published in the Jan. 2 edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. This work was supported by Public Health Service grants R01 AI063503 and R21 AI082414-01; the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through UCLA CTSI Grant UL1TR000124; grant R01 AI054928, and funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, No. HHSN272200900009C. Researchers contributing to the study were: Teclegiorgis Gebremariam, Mingfu Liu, Guanpingsheng Luo, Vincent Bruno, Quynh T. Phan, Alan J. Waring, John E. Edwards Jr., Scott G. Filler and Michael R. Yeaman.

About LA BioMed

Founded in 1952, LA BioMed is one of the country's leading nonprofit independent biomedical research institutes. It has approximately 100 principal researchers conducting studies into improved diagnostics and treatments for cancer, inherited diseases, infectious diseases, illnesses caused by environmental factors and more. It also educates young scientists and provides community services, including prenatal counseling and childhood nutrition programs. LA BioMed is academically affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and located on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. For more information, please visit http://www.LABioMed.org

LA BioMed

Related Antibodies Articles from Brightsurf:

Scientist develops new way to test for COVID-19 antibodies
New research details how a cell-free test rapidly detects COVID-19 neutralizing antibodies and could aid in vaccine testing and drug discovery efforts.

Mussels connect antibodies to treat cancer
POSTECH research team develops innovative local anticancer immunotherapy technology using mussel protein.

For an effective COVID vaccine, look beyond antibodies to T-cells
Most vaccine developers are aiming solely for a robust antibody response against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, despite evidence that antibodies are not the body's primary protective response to infection by coronaviruses, says Marc Hellerstein of UC Berkeley.

Children can have COVID-19 antibodies and virus in their system simultaneously
With many questions remaining around how children spread COVID-19, Children's National Hospital researchers set out to improve the understanding of how long it takes pediatric patients with the virus to clear it from their systems, and at what point they start to make antibodies that work against the coronavirus.

The behavior of therapeutic antibodies in immunotherapy
Since the late 1990s, immunotherapy has been the frontline treatment against lymphomas where synthetic antibodies are used to stop the proliferation of cancerous white blood cells.

Re-engineering antibodies for COVID-19
Catholic University of America researcher uses 'in silico' analysis to fast-track passive immunity

Seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in 10 US sites
This study estimates how common SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are in convenience samples from 10 geographic sites in the United States.

Neutralizing antibodies in the battle against COVID-19
An important line of defense against SARS-CoV-2 is the formation of neutralizing antibodies.

Three new studies identify neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2
A trio of papers describes several newly discovered human antibodies that target the SARS-CoV-2 virus, isolated from survivors of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV infection.

More effective human antibodies possible with chicken cells
Antibodies for potential use as medicines can be made rapidly in chicken cells grown in laboratories.

Read More: Antibodies News and Antibodies Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.