THE IMPACT OF YOUR GIFTS
Support Message – Artemis
First of all, we would like to thank you, for your generosity to support our research foundation, Artemis One Health. Your support is fundamental to the success of our research projects. Supporting us means that we are able to understand the pathogenesis of the diseases better, and so contributing to the advancement of better & innovative designs for treatment options. We are very grateful for your support and we believe that together we are strong. Let’s keep teaming up and improve both human health and animal health. On this page we will show you what we were able to do with YOUR donations. Thanks for your generous gift, join us in our mission and become a regular sustaining donor.
What we were able to do with “YOUR” gifts
Artemis One Health Research Institute is participating in an EU-funded consortium, which aims at developing treatment strategies against rabies. One problem with any drug targeting the brain is their inability to pass the blood-brain-barrier. Artemis One Health Research Institute has been working on developing novel vehicles for drug delivery to the brain. In order to find ways to treat rabies, we have screened several compounds that interfere with inflammation in the brain.
- Rabies is a severe, viral disease that occurs worldwide and can affect all mammals, including humans.
- Dogs constitute an important source of transmission in most of the developing countries, affecting mainly children and young adults living in the poorest parts of the world.
- More than 5 million people worldwide are living at risk of acquiring dog rabies and eventually more than 60,000 individuals die from rabies every year.
- The majority of rabies deaths occur in Asia and Africa.
- Infection with rabies virus results in damage to the nervous system, which is almost always fatal. This makes rabies the deadliest disease known to humans.
- The reason for this devastating fact is that no specific or supporting treatment exists to overcome the fatal outcome of the disease, and despite all technological advancements, no effort is being deployed to develop effective treatment strategies for rabies.
Specifically, Artemis One Health Research Institute developed a technique to isolate exosomes, vesicles produced by cells, from culture medium. Exosomes can be used as vehicles for delivery of drugs into the brain. A combination of techniques was used to enhance isolation of these vesicles. Another achievement in 2015 is the contribution of Artemis One Health Research Institute to the identification of potential drugs to treat the damaging inflammation in the brain as a result of rabies virus infection. Some compounds show very promising results in that they can mitigate the symptoms of rabies and delay mortality in animal models.
Although further research is needed to optimize the technique for exosome purification, the promising results obtained so far represent an important step in the efforts to develop personalized treatment for rabies. The technology will revolutionize the use of exosomes as a drug delivery system for use outside the context of rabies treatment, such as treatment of other infectious diseases of the brain and neuro-degenerative diseases. These results will definitely pave the way to further development of effective intervention strategies to treat rabies.
Elephant Hemorrhagic disease
The high mortality rates associated with EEHV infections in captive and wild elephants and the threat they pose to the continuation and success of captive breeding programs for the highly endangered Asian elephant in both North America and Europe, makes the development of a safe and effective vaccine a high priority. Development of an effective vaccine will have a great impact on health of captive elephants, safe geographic translocations and successful continuation of breeding programs. Therefore, the glycoprotein B of the elephant herpes virus was produced and purified. A test was developed using this protein to first monitor the extent of the problem in herds in different zoos.
- The elephant is one of the most recognized and beloved animals and is listed by the World Conservation Union as critically endangered species.
- Captive breeding is the sole source for replacing elephants at zoos and for maintaining the genetic diversity of captive populations.
- The elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV) causes a serious infection resulting in a hemorrhagic disease, similar to the ebola virus in humans.
- The virus infects and causes damage of endothelial cells of the blood vessels, heart, and other organs resulting in disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), multiple organ failure and finally death. Depending on the severity, infected animals die within 24 hours.
- The mortality rate of EEHV infection in captive bred elephants reaches up to 90% among juvenile animals, an unacceptably high mortality rate.
- Therefore, EEHV poses a great threat to breeding programs. It has been estimated that the current zoo populations will be extinct within 48 years, based on current conception and attrition rates.
- Currently there is no treatment for infected animals. A vaccine is the most effective way to protect elephants against this serious disease.
We were able for the first time to show that EEHV is a prevalent virus in herds in zoos, both in Europe and North America. Furthermore, the results indicate that herds also harbor a significant amount of naïve animals.
The significant amount of naïve animals in herds indicate that efforts should be deployed to develop a vaccine to protect these susceptible animals and prevent further mortality. The protein produced in the experiments of Artemis, will be used to develop a candidate vaccine.
West Nile virus was introduced in 1999 in the United States and has since then caused significant morbidity and mortality among horses, birds and humans. The virus also causes outbreaks in Europe, although to a lower extent compared to the USA. There is a need for a safe and effective vaccine that can be used in situations of epidemics. Especially horses may benefit from a vaccine that provides longer protection compared to the current vaccines. Artemis One Health developed an effective vaccine against West Nile virus, which may be used to protect horses and humans against severe West Nile disease.
- West Nile virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes to birds, humans and horses.
- The virus causes a disease characterized by fever, headache, nausea, and fatigue.
- Since 1996, outbreaks of West Nile virus result in meningitis and brain inflammation, especially in the elderly.
- Severe West Nile virus infections have been identified globally, mostly in North America and eastern and Mediterranean Europe.
- As West Nile virus affects countries in Europe every year, the virus is now recognized as a major cause of public health concern in Europe.
- No human vaccine is currently available. The main preventive measures are aimed at reducing exposure to mosquito bites.
- Persistent neurological sequelae, manifested as continued tremors and parkinsonism, may persist for years after resolution of the acute infection, and may impact daily activities such as eating and dressing.
- The long-term neurological and functional sequelae observed in human survivors of West Nile virus infection accentuate the need for a safe and effective vaccine.
- In contrast to North America, many of the outbreaks in humans in Europe were not preceded by massive bird mortality.
- The susceptibility of European birds to West Nile virus has not been fully addressed.
We have developed a vaccine based on the MVA (Modified Vaccinia Ankara) vector.
One of the most effective ways of controlling viral infections is by means of vaccination. An MVA-based vaccine is a good candidate due to its clinical safety record and its potency to induce robust immune responses against several viruses. This candidate vaccine can now be tested for safety and efficacy in the relevant target species (humans and horses).