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      Natural products that reduce rotavirus infectivity identified by a cell-based moderate-throughput screening assay


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          There is widespread interest in the use of innate immune modulators as a defense strategy against infectious pathogens. Using rotavirus as a model system, we developed a cell-based, moderate-throughput screening (MTS) assay to identify compounds that reduce rotavirus infectivity in vitro, toward a long-term goal of discovering immunomodulatory agents that enhance innate responses to viral infection.


          A natural product library consisting of 280 compounds was screened in the assay and 15 compounds that significantly reduced infectivity without cytotoxicity were identified. Time course analysis of four compounds with previously characterized effects on inflammatory gene expression inhibited replication with pre-treatment times as minimal as 2 hours. Two of these four compounds, α-mangostin and 18-β-glycyrrhetinic acid, activated NFκB and induced IL-8 secretion. The assay is adaptable to other virus systems, and amenable to full automation and adaptation to a high-throughput format.


          Identification of several compounds with known effects on inflammatory and antiviral gene expression that confer resistance to rotavirus infection in vitro suggests the assay is an appropriate platform for discovery of compounds with potential to amplify innate antiviral responses.

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          Global Illness and Deaths Caused by Rotavirus Disease in Children

          To estimate the global illness and deaths caused by rotavirus disease, we reviewed studies published from 1986 to 2000 on deaths caused by diarrhea and on rotavirus infections in children. We assessed rotavirus-associated illness in three clinical settings (mild cases requiring home care alone, moderate cases requiring a clinic visit, and severe cases requiring hospitalization) and death rates in countries in different World Bank income groups. Each year, rotavirus causes approximately 111 million episodes of gastroenteritis requiring only home care, 25 million clinic visits, 2 million hospitalizations, and 352,000–592,000 deaths (median, 440,000 deaths) in children <5 years of age. By age 5, nearly every child will have an episode of rotavirus gastroenteritis, 1 in 5 will visit a clinic, 1 in 60 will be hospitalized, and approximately 1 in 293 will die. Children in the poorest countries account for 82% of rotavirus deaths. The tremendous incidence of rotavirus disease underscores the urgent need for interventions, such as vaccines, to prevent childhood deaths in developing nations.
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            Anti-inflammatory plant flavonoids and cellular action mechanisms.

            Plant flavonoids show anti-inflammatory activity in vitro and in vivo. Although not fully understood, several action mechanisms are proposed to explain in vivo anti-inflammatory action. One of the important mechanisms is an inhibition of eicosanoid generating enzymes including phospholipase A2, cyclooxygenases, and lipoxygenases, thereby reducing the concentrations of prostanoids and leukotrienes. Recent studies have also shown that certain flavonoids, especially flavone derivatives, express their anti-inflammatory activity at least in part by modulation of proinflammatory gene expression such as cyclooxygenase-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and several pivotal cytokines. Due to these unique action mechanisms and significant in vivo activity, flavonoids are considered to be reasonable candidates for new anti-inflammatory drugs. To clearly establish the therapeutic value in inflammatory disorders, in vivo anti-inflammatory activity, and action mechanism of varieties of flavonoids need to be further elucidated. This review summarizes the effect of flavonoids on eicosanoid and nitric oxide generating enzymes and the effect on expression of proinflammatory genes. In vivo anti-inflammatory activity is also discussed. As natural modulators of proinflammatory gene expression, certain flavonoids have a potential for new anti-inflammatory agents.
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              Targeting the innate immune response with improved vaccine adjuvants.

              Despite two centuries of vaccine use, only a few adjuvants and delivery systems are licensed for human use. This is partly because traditional vaccines based on attenuated live organisms already have them--their invasiveness provides efficient delivery to antigen-presenting cells and various naturally occurring components of the pathogens stimulate the innate immune system. But consideration of these immune potentiators and delivery systems has become important to the development of new subunit vaccines consisting of isolated antigens. Here we consider rational approaches to the discovery and development of immunostimulatory compounds and vaccine formulations that target innate immune responses.

                Author and article information

                Virol J
                Virology Journal
                BioMed Central (London )
                1 September 2006
                : 3
                : 68
                [1 ]Veterinary Molecular Biology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA
                Copyright © 2006 Shaneyfelt et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 22 June 2006
                : 1 September 2006

                Microbiology & Virology
                Microbiology & Virology


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