News Releases & Research Results Viral encephalitis caused by autophagy suppression - New findings of the pathogenesis of the West Nile virus -

News Releases & Research Results


The results of collaborative study conducted by Assistant Professor Shintaro Kobayashi, Associate Professor Kentaro Yoshii (at the time of the study) of the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, and others.

The key results of study are follows:

  •  The mechanism by which the West Nile virus* , which has spread worldwide and causes severe viral encephalitis, damages the infected neurons was elucidated.
    * A virus that infects animals (e.g., humans and horses) through mosquitoes and causes fever and encephalitis.
  • Specifically, the West Nile virus suppresses autophagy, forming protein aggregates in virus-infected cells to cause cell death and encephalitis. The protein aggregates were removed and the cell death was suppressed by autophagy induction in virus-infected cells.
  • The results of study should facilitate the elucidation of disease onset mechanism and the development of treatments for viral encephalitis for which no specific treatment is available.

This study was conducted with the support of Research Program on Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases by AMED.

The results of the study were published online in PLOS Pathogens on January 24.



Last updated 01/24/20