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Antiviral Res. 2014 Sep;109:64-7. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2014.06.010. Epub 2014 Jun 25.

Protection against Rift Valley fever virus infection in mice upon administration of interferon-inducing RNA transcripts from the FMDV genome.

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  • 1Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal - INIA, Valdeolmos 28130, Madrid, Spain.
  • 2Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa" (CSIC-UAM), Cantoblanco 28049, Madrid, Spain.
  • 3Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal - INIA, Valdeolmos 28130, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:


In this work we have addressed the effect of synthetic, non-infectious, RNA transcripts, mimicking structural domains of the non-coding regions (NCRs) of the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) genome on the infection of mice with Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV). Groups of 5 mice were inoculated intraperitoneally (i.p.) with 200 μg of synthetic RNA resembling the 5'-terminal S region, the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) or the 3'-NCR of the FMDV genome. RNA inoculation was performed 24h before (-24 h), 24 h after (+24 h) or simultaneously to the challenge with a lethal dose of RVFV. Administration of the IRES RNA afforded higher survival rates than administration of S or 3'NCR transcripts either at -24h or +24h after challenge. In contrast, when RNA inoculation and viral challenge were performed simultaneously, all mice survived in both IRES- and 3'NCR-inoculated groups, with an 80% survival in mice receiving the S RNA. Among survivors, a complete correlation between significant anti-RVFV circulating antibody titers and resistance to a second lethal challenge with the virus was observed, supporting a limited viral replication in the RNA-inoculated animals upon the first challenge. All three RNA transcripts were able to induce the production of systemic antiviral and pro-inflammatory cytokines. These data show that triggering of intracellular pathogen sensing pathways constitutes a promising approach towards development of novel RVF preventive or therapeutic strategies.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Foot and mouth disease virus; Innate immunity; Non coding RNA regions; Rift Valley fever

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