BOSTON, May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Replikins Ltd. has found that the replikin concentration of West Nile Virus increased annually through two distinct cycles as the virus expanded in the U.S.: the first from 2000 to 2003, and the second from 2004 to 2007 (p less than 0.001). Increases in the annual number of human cases followed each of the virus replikin concentration increases.
Replikins are peptides, specified in virus genomes, which increase in concentration signaling rapid replication before virus outbreaks. This is the first report that cyclic increases in virus replikin concentration, each apparently building on the last, can be a mechanism of virus expansion into a territory.
In the present study, virus ReplikinCount(TM) determined by FluForecast(TM) software was correlated with CDC epidemiological data on the number of human cases per year. Discrete cycles were distinguished within, and correlated between, virus chemistry and host morbidity. The mosquito-borne West Nile virus, which apparently incubates between seasons, has been found to increase its concentration of Replikins before the next annual step in the cycle of expansion.
This demonstration of replikin cycles represents further "proof of principle" on the relationship of replikins to virus epidemics, and a new means of discerning the course of an epidemic. Previously, increases in the ReplikinCount of the Replikins Peak Gene were found to precede and to predict outbreaks and lethality of two other viruses, influenza H5N1 and Taura Syndrome Virus, in two hosts, human and shrimp respectively. The conservation of specific replikin structures over many years, the detection of new replikins, and the chemical synthesis of replikin vaccines in 7 days, demonstrated for H5N1 and Taura Syndrome viruses, have now also been demonstrated for West Nile Virus.
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SOURCE Replikins Ltd.