Eastern equine encephalitis virus study uncovers decoy molecule that protects against deadly brain infection

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered a decoy molecule that protects mice from the potentially deadly Eastern equine encephalitis virus. They found that the virus binds to the receptor VLDLR on cells, and they used this knowledge to develop decoy receptors to block the virus from binding and infecting cells. The decoy containing the first two domains of the receptor was especially effective at protecting mice from the virus. These findings could lead the way to treatments and vaccines for viral infections. As climate change increases the risk of Eastern equine encephalitis, these developments could be especially valuable.

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