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West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-transmitted RNA virus, causes severe human and animal infections in North America.
There are currently no specific or proven treatments available for human WNV infections. The host immune response
to viral infections is mediated by innate responses followed by adaptive immunity. A cytokine imbalance induced by infection
can contribute to immunopathogenesis during viral infections. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) and macrophage migration inhibitory
factor (MIF) are elevated both in vitro and in vivo following WNV infection. WNV infection is markedly diminished in IL-10
) and MIF deficient (
)mice. Pharmacologic blockade of IL-10 and MIF signaling by neutralizing antibodies
increases survival of WNV-infected mice. Increased production of antiviral cytokines in
mice is associated with more
efficient control of WNV infection.MIF promotes WNV invasion of the brain by compromising the integrity of the blood-brain-
barrier (BBB).Interestingly, IL-10 is over-expressed in
mice upon WNV infection and blockade of IL-10 signaling increases
mice resistance to WNV infection suggesting that simultaneously blocking MIF and IL-10 signaling will further increase
resistance to WNV infection.
Dr. Fengwei Bai has completed his Ph.D from Fudan University in 2002 and conducted postdoctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine.
He is an assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Bai has published more than 20 papers in reputed journals and serving as
an editorial board member of
Internal Medicine - Open Access.
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