Dengue fever drug shows efficacy

There are no approved vaccines for the prevention of Dengue virus, but that could change, according to NanoVircides, Inc.

The company announced in a press release on Tuesday that its anti-Dengue drugs showed "efficacy in the recently completed preliminary cell culture studies."

Testing showed that the company's anti-Dengue nanoviricides inhibited two different types of Dengue virus infections. The release states that researchers believe the drugs "mimic a common natural host cell receptor by which the four different dengue virus serotypes bind to the body's host cells, thus causing disease.

"The virus is 'fooled' into thinking it has attached to its target cell and instead enters a nanoviricide nanomicelle, it is believed. A nanoviricide would thus stop the spread of the viral infection to new uninfected cells."

If further testing supports early findings, it could mean that NanoViricide researchers have found a way to beat what is called "Antibody-Dependent-Enhancement," which is believed to lead to an increase in severe types of Dengue disease.

Dengue virus is often spread by ticks and mosquitoes. First contact with the disease is typically not severe, though once the body is exposed to a different type of the disease, it produces antibodies to fight the previous model, which instead leads to further infection and can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, which can be fatal.