2015 RESEARCH GRANT UPDATE

Gerlinde Van de Walle, DVM, PhD

Towards rationally-based treatment for FHV-induced ocular disease in cats

Gerlinde Van de Walle, DVM, PhD, Eric C. Ledbetter, DVM, and Adam Boyko, PhD

We think of antivirals as drugs that fight viruses, but they may do more than that. There is some evidence that antivirals also boost the immune system to help a person, dog, cat, or other animal fight off the virus. Using a tissue model of feline herpes virus (FHV) eye infections in cats, Van de Walle and her colleagues are exploring whether the antiviral drug raltegravir can modify the immune response in corneas infected with FHV, limiting the negative inflammatory effects of the virus. Early results from the work are promising, and indicate it may be possible to create antivirals that boost the immune system even more.