Combination drug treatment prolongs survival of experimentally infected mice with silver-haired bat rabies virus

Martina, B. E., Smreczak, M., Orlowska, A., Marzec, A., Trebas, P., Roose, J. M., & Osterhaus, A. D.

Vaccine (2018).

Rabies is a lethal disease in humans and animals, killing approximately 60,000 people every year. Currently, there is no treatment available, except post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) that can be administered whenever exposure to a rabid animal took place. Here we describe the beneficial effects of a combination treatment initiated at day 4 post infection, containing anti-viral drugs and immune modulators in infected mice. Combination therapy resulted in significant increase in survival time (P < 0.05) and significantly lowers viral RNA in the brain and spinal cord (P < 0.05). Furthermore, treatment influenced markers of pyroptosis and apoptosis and early inflammatory response as measured by the levels of TNF-α. Morphological lesions were absent in rabies virus infected mice with few signs of inflammation. However, these were not significant between the different groups.

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