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Published September 05, 2012, 11:45 PM

Researchers Make Progress on West Nile Cure

Researchers at the University of North Dakota are getting closer to finding a treatment to West Nile.

By: Christine Boggy, WDAZ

Researchers at the University of North Dakota are getting closer to finding a treatment to West Nile.

The virus was introduced in the United States in 1999 and it's been causing serious illnesses and deaths ever since. There have been nearly 1,600 cases of West Nile Virus reported in the US so far this year but local research could lead to a breakthrough in treatment of the disease.

Veterinarians collected antibodies from the blood of the geese that survived as they were strongly resistant to the virus. The antibodies geese produce only attach to the target virus and don't cause the inflammatory response that antibodies from other animals can. In studies that were already done on hamsters, the goose antibody both prevented West Nile and cured infected animals. That leads researchers to believe that these tests could be groundbreaking and treatments could go much farther than West Nile. Some other diseases that they have started researching include dengue fever, malaria and rabies.

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