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Viruses 2015, 7(2), 480-495;

Bovine Lactoferrin Inhibits Toscana Virus Infection by Binding to Heparan Sulphate

Department of Technology and Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena, 299, Rome 00161, Italy
Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena, 299, Rome 00161, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Curt Hagedorn
Received: 1 December 2014 / Accepted: 23 January 2015 / Published: 29 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
Full-Text   |   PDF [892 KB, uploaded 12 May 2015]   |  


Toscana virus is an emerging sandfly-borne bunyavirus in Mediterranean Europe responsible for neurological diseases in humans. It accounts for about 80% of paediatric meningitis cases during the summer. Despite the important impact of Toscana virus infection-associated disease on human health, currently approved vaccines or effective antiviral treatments are not available. In this research, we have analyzed the effect of bovine lactoferrin, a bi-globular iron-binding glycoprotein with potent antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities, on Toscana virus infection in vitro. Our results showed that lactoferrin was capable of inhibiting Toscana virus replication in a dose-dependent manner. Results obtained when lactoferrin was added to the cells during different phases of viral infection showed that lactoferrin was able to prevent viral replication when added during the viral adsorption step or during the entire cycle of virus infection, demonstrating that its action takes place in an early phase of viral infection. In particular, our results demonstrated that the anti-Toscana virus action of lactoferrin took place on virus attachment to the cell membrane, mainly through a competition for common glycosaminoglycan receptors. These findings provide further insights on the antiviral activity of bovine lactoferrin. View Full-Text
Keywords: Toscana virus; lactoferrin; antiviral agents; Phlebovirus Toscana virus; lactoferrin; antiviral agents; Phlebovirus

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Pietrantoni, A.; Fortuna, C.; Remoli, M.E.; Ciufolini, M.G.; Superti, F. Bovine Lactoferrin Inhibits Toscana Virus Infection by Binding to Heparan Sulphate. Viruses 2015, 7, 480-495.

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