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You are here: Home / Teams / Horvat B - IbIV / Nebulized fusion inhibitory peptide protects cynomolgus macaques from measles virus infection

Nebulized fusion inhibitory peptide protects cynomolgus macaques from measles virus infection

O. Reynard et al; Nature Communication 2022; DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-33832-6

Measles is the most contagious airborne viral infection and the leading cause of child death among vaccine-preventable diseases. We show here that aerosolized lipopeptide fusion inhibitor, derived from heptad-repeat regions of the measles virus (MeV) fusion protein, blocks respiratory MeV infection in a non-human primate model, the cynomolgus macaque. We use a custom-designed mesh nebulizer to ensure efficient aerosol delivery of peptide to the respiratory tract and demonstrate the absence of adverse effects and lung pathology in macaques. The nebulized peptide efficiently prevents MeV infection, resulting in the complete absence of MeV RNA, MeV-infected cells, and MeV-specific humoral responses in treated animals. This strategy provides an additional means to fight against respiratory infection in non-vaccinated people, that can be readily translated to human trials. It presents a proof-of-concept for the aerosol delivery of fusion inhibitory peptides to protect against measles and other airborne viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, in case of high-risk exposure.

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