Team combats human parainfluenza virus

February 11, 2015, Griffith University
Team combats human parainfluenza virus
Institute Director Professor Mark von Itzstein and his team has made a breakthrough in tackling human parainfluenza virus

Gold Coast research has made a giant leap forward in understanding one of the most common causes of respiratory infections worldwide.

Research by Professor Mark von Itzstein and his team from Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics has made a breakthrough in tackling human , which causes respiratory infections such as croup, bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

This highly-infectious virus is the leading cause of upper and lower respiratory tract disease in young children, and each year results in hundreds of thousands of deaths in developing countries and thousands of hospitalisations world-wide.

The team for the first time has demonstrated how a protein associated with the surface of virus, haemagglutinin-neuraminidase, engages specific sugars to allow the virus to spread and cause infection.

Institute Director Professor Mark von Itzstein, of the Institute for Glycomics, said research findings published in the international journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition this week offers a new direction in for the treatment of respiratory infections caused by this virus.

"This study provides us exciting new information about how this virus is released from infected cells and opens the door for novel antiviral drug discovery research.

"Effectively, the virus' haemagglutinin-neuraminidase reacts with a carbohydrate to form an intermediate that then is hydrolysed, enabling the virus to escape from the infected cell surface and cause further infection.

"We have developed a compound that allows the haemagglutinin-neuraminidase to form a similar intermediate, but reduces the ability of the to be released and consequently reduces any further infection. This compound provides a drug-like candidate," he said.

The Institute for Glycomics is a world leader in the study of glycans and carbohydrates (sugars) and how they behave in terms of disease prevention and cure.

"Australia continues to significantly benefit from the attraction of outstanding research talent from all over the world," said Professor von Itzstein.

Explore further: Winning the war against Human parainfluenza virus

More information: Angewandte Chemie International Edition, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10 … e.201500511/abstract

Related Stories

Unveiling how rotavirus causes infection

January 6, 2015

Researchers from Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics and the University of Melbourne have significantly advanced understanding of a virus that kills up to half a million children each year.

Breakthrough in battle against leukemia

March 13, 2013

Scientists at Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics and The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles have discovered a critical weakness in leukaemic cells, which may pave the way to new treatments.

New perspectives for development of an RSV vaccine

October 16, 2014

Respiratory Syncytial Virus causes severe respiratory tract infections and worldwide claims the lives of 160,000 children each year. Scientists at VIB and Ghent University have succeeded in developing a promising vaccination ...

Recommended for you

How fluid viscosity affects earthquake intensity

March 21, 2019

Fault zones play a key role in shaping the deformation of the Earth's crust. All of these zones contain fluids, which heavily influence how earthquakes propagate. In an article published today in Nature Communications, Chiara ...

Sustainable fisheries and conservation policy

March 21, 2019

There are roughly five times as many recreational fishers as commercial fishers throughout the world. And yet, the needs and peculiarities of these 220 million recreational fishers have largely been ignored in international ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.