Back to projects

How can the development and application of antiviral peptide therapy be used to treat Parvovirus in endangered species, and how does this therapy compare to the treatments already on the market?

Project by Polygence alum Nisha

How can the development and application of antiviral peptide therapy be used to treat Parvovirus in endangered species, and how does this therapy compare to the treatments already on the market?

Project's result

Presenting a live conference talk at the Symposium of Rising Scholars, published in the Research Archive of Rising Scholars, and on track to being published in the International Journal of High School Research

They started it from zero. Are you ready to level up with us?

Summary

Canine Parvovirus (CPV), a highly infectious virus that causes severe illness in a variety of species around the world, continues to remain untreatable. This paper seeks to explore the application of antiviral peptide therapy for the global treatment of Parvovirus in endangered species, as well as compare it with current treatments being tested. Parvovirus currently affects several endangered animals including coyotes, wolves, bobcats, and foxes. It is commonly transmitted through the feces of the carrier, and outbreaks have occurred in the wild, in rehabilitation centers, and in more domestic settings. The earliest signs of the disease include lethargy and vomiting, while lesions within the intestines, brain and spinal cord, or lymph tissue found during necropsy help diagnosis at a later stage. Within the affected animal, the virus attacks cells that divide fastest, especially targeting the lymphocytes, bone marrow, and lining of the small intestine. By doing this, the virus is known to leave the organism weak and no longer able to prevent its replication. Parvovirus has also continued to change and develop through the years, transforming into various strains such as CPV-2A, 2B, and currently CPV-2C. For these reasons, finding an effective treatment method against parvovirus is critical in the conservation of the species being affected. Antiviral Peptide Therapy, a treatment currently being implemented against Covid, Herpes, and the Flu, uses short amino acid chains called peptides designed to target specific viruses and prevent their replication. We further examined the effectiveness of using antiviral peptide therapy for Parvovirus in comparison to other treatments being tested today, through the use of graphs and charts to analyze the widespread effects of CPV and comparing research already done by people, universities, and foundations.

Ambika

Ambika

Polygence mentor

DVM Doctor of Veterinary Medicine candidate

Subjects

Biology, Chemistry, Medicine

Expertise

global health, access to medicine, veterinary

Nisha

Nisha

Student

Graduation Year

2026

Project review

“The journey of researching, working with my mentor, putting the paper together, and getting on track to publishing has been absolutely wonderful. Throughout the process, my passion for animals and veterinary medicine has grown tremendously and I have also found a new passion in conservation medicine. The experience has allowed me to grow as a student, researcher, and person, and I can't wait to see where the project will go.”

About my mentor

“Working with my mentor, Ambika Verma, was amazing. It was really inspiring to work and talk to someone living my own dreams, and definitely encouraged me to work towards my goals. Not only this, but bouncing ideas off of my mentor really grew and enhanced the project, and I really enjoyed being able to just propose all the ideas I had in my head to her and see them come to life.”