The battle between virus and host cell

phys.org | 5/31/2019 | Staff
ashb0101 (Posted by) Level 3
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When viruses enter the body, such as during an influenza or a gastrointestinal infection, the processes within the infected cells change: In the worst case, the virus takes the helm and reprograms the cell to its advantage. It then produces viral components on a massive scale allowing the intruder to multiply exponentially.

In other cells, however, the virus may be successfully eliminated by the activation of cellular defense mechanisms. But how can it be that one cell is overrun and another succeeds in getting the virus under control? How quickly do individual cells react to a viral attack and which protective genes are activated?

Scientists - Julius - Maximilian - University - Würzburg

Scientists at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg and the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) in Würzburg have investigated these questions. They have developed a new method, scSLAM-seq, which enables them to track the activity of thousands of genes in individual cells over several hours. For the first time, the researchers were able to explain why some cells are successfully infected by a virus, whereas others are not. In addition, they also gained fundamental new insights into the regulation of genes. Their results are published in the July, 18th issue of the scientific journal Nature.

In close cooperation with Professor Florian Erhard from the Institute for Virology and Immunobiology of the Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg (JMU) and Dr. Antoine-Emmanuel Saliba from the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI), Professor Lars Dölken, head of the Department of Virology at JMU and his team investigated how gene activity, which reflects the identity and the physiological state of a cell, changes in individual infected mouse cells after an infection with cytomegalovirus.

Cytomegaloviruses - Percent - People - Generally - People

Cytomegaloviruses are widespread, with more than 80 percent of people infected. Generally, healthy people are not harmed by the virus, however an infection in newborns or transplant patients can become dangerous...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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