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an "Achilles heel" for the FMD virus

email received from Professor Joe Cummins

We know that there is an "Achilles heel" for the FMD virus, i.e. - the virus is extremely sensitive to interferon. USDA scientists have published that FMD virus must gain control of the host cells by 1) suppressing interferon production, and 2 blocking the effect of an interferon-inducible gene which codes for double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase R. If the FMD virus can not shut down interferon production by the cells, then the virus can not replicate.

Our method of dealing with an outbreak of FMD is to use interferon orally, or some other immune modulator, to boost the host immunity against FMD. The FMD virus causes less than 1% mortality, but the government's response causes 100% mortality. In the post 9/11 world, we are forced to develop an alternative to depopulation. We simply can not kill livestock faster than terrorists can infect them with FMD virus.

Joe Cummins ----- Original Message