Researchers seek cure to herpes virus in horses

See on Scoop.itVirology News

For a human, developing a cold sore is a minor, if irritating, inconvenience. But if a horse contracts that same virus, it can mean a death sentence.

Researchers are hopeful that a chemical compound, derived from a micro-algae known as dinoflagellate, will successfully fight the virus in horses. The algae, isolated from sediments off the coast of Bermuda, are grown on-site at the MARBIONC culture facility, populating over time in large glass containers of liquid. They’re microscopic, visible to the naked eye only when populations are dense enough to change the color of the liquid. Once the algae are mature, researchers harvest the organisms and extract chemical compounds from individual samples, then isolate the compound containing the anti-viral activity.

Herpesvirus graphic from Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki‘s insight:

I like that: using easily-cultured microalgae to make an antiviral compound.

Of course, they could go one step further: use said microalgae to make one of the viral antigens – like gD – to act as a vaccine.

Going green: the sensible thing to do.

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