Scientists shed light on how virus attacks cat kidneys, can jump to humans

stray cats

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In a study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesvirologists from the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research have reverse engineered an elusive virus linked to chronic kidney disease in cats and characterized its infection mechanism, pointing to the possibility that infect humans.

Research suggests that the feline morbillivirus, or FeMV, uses the same cellular invasion and infection mechanism as other viruses in the morbillivirus family, such as measles. However, unlike measles, FeMV seems to spread from one host to another via urine in a similar way to the Nipah virus transmitted from animals in bats, causing deadly epidemics every day. years in humans across Southeast Asia.

The study provides the first clear look at this well-studied virus and its potential trajectory from infecting animals to humans.

“The feline morbillivirus has been under control for many years,” said senior author Paul Duprex, PhD, director of the Center for Vaccine Research at the Pitt School of Medicine. “By understanding the genetics of a virus that has been challenging to grow in the lab, we can now shed light on its link to chronic kidney disease and better understand how we can prevent transmission and its potential spread to human populations. “

First time discovered in the land cats in Hong Kong a decade ago, FeMV was found in home cat throughout Asia and Europe and fully identified and sequenced in the US in 2016 by Duprex’s research team while they were working in Boston. While previous studies have linked FeMV infection with chronic kidney disease in cats – one of the leading causes of death in older animals – the new study details never before seen. yes about how virus to the kidney.

Similar to other members of the same virus family, FeMV enters cells by binding to a surface protein receptor known as CD150. Related viruses, including measles, use CD150 as their primary entry receptor, and people vaccinated against measles are protected from infection with FeMV. However, the elimination of measles may provide an evolutionary opportunity for other morbilliviruses, such as FeMV, to seek out new hosts and jump on unvaccinated people.

“That is why illuminating animal diseases becomes proactive,” says Mr. Duprex. “Preparation is crucial in containing the epidemic.”

By creating a genetically engineered version of FeMV that contains a fluorescent probe, the researchers were able to track its spread throughout cells and organs, discovering that the transfection of FeMV it can be stopped by inhibiting a protein-breaking enzyme called cathepsin. Interestingly, the catheters were mostly used by Nipah viruses but not by morbilliviruses, suggesting that FeMV is an evolutionary intermediate between the two virus families.

“It’s important to understand animal pathogens because they can become human pathogens,” Duprex said. “Learning about the viruses that infect cats is not only important for reducing kidney failure rates in our beloved pets, but it also helps us understand more about what’s new.” Infectious Diseases and how they can spread through different animals. There are about 85 million cats in the US and more than half a billion in the world. We live with them very close and their health problems. ”

Emerging importance of gammaherpesvirus and morbillivirus infections in cats

More information:
Sham Nambulli et al., FeMV is a cathepsin-dependent unique morbillivirus that infects the kidneys of domestic cats, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (In 2022). DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.2209405119

Quote: Scientists shed light on how virus attacks cat kidneys, can jump to humans (2022, October 18) accessed October 19, 2022 from -10-scientists-illuminate-virus-cat-kidney.html

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