Navigation Links
New infections cause dormant viruses to reactivate

GAINESVILLE, Fla. The famous slogan is "A diamond is forever," but that phrase might be better suited to herpes: Unlike most viruses, which succumb to the immune system's attack, herpes remains in the body forever, lying in wait, sometimes reactivating years later.

Researchers have long wondered what causes herpes viruses two strains of which are linked to cancer to reactivate after remaining dormant once the initial infection resolves. Now a team of researchers, including two University of Florida scientists, has discovered that interactions with other infections later in life can trigger these dormant viruses to resurface and cause disease.

Understanding more about how specific pathogens interact with each other could help scientists devise new and better ways to combat these infections and the diseases they cause, the researchers write in a paper published today (June 26) in the journal Science.

"Probably 95 percent of us have been infected with at least one herpes virus, but many people never have a problem with it," said study co-author Rolf Renne, Ph.D., a professor of molecular genetics and microbiology in the UF College of Medicine and a member of the UF Genetics Institute and the UF Health Cancer Center. There are eight herpes viruses that infect humans, causing diseases that range from cold sores and chickenpox to mononucleosis and cancer. "The question has been: What happens to reactivate these viruses to cause disease?"

Led by researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis, the study found that parasite infections later in life can spark an immune reaction that clears the way for the herpes virus to reactivate. In this case, the scientists were studying a specific herpes virus linked to a form of cancer called Kaposi sarcoma, human herpes virus 8.

The researchers discovered that after initial infection by the virus, a protein called interferon gamma keeps herpes in check, which explains why the virus typically remains dormant in the body. But when the immune system later responded to an infection with a parasitic worm called a helminth, another protein called interleukin 4 was released, which not only blocked interferon gamma from doing its job but also directly activated virus replication. When the virus replicates, it infects new cells, increasing the chances a cancerous tumor will form, Renne said.

"The fact that the virus can 'sense' the immune reaction to a worm and respond by reactivating is a remarkable example of co-evolution," said senior author Herbert W. Virgin IV, M.D., Ph.D., of Washington University in St. Louis. "We think other interactions between multiple infectious agents and the immune system will be discovered over time that we will view as similarly sophisticated or maybe even devious. Understanding these interactions will help us survive in a complex microbial world."

The Washington University in St. Louis researchers made the discovery first by studying a mouse herpes virus. UF researchers were able to duplicate these findings in human cells infected with the Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus.

Infections with the helminth parasite occur frequently in developing countries, including sub-Saharan Africa, where cases of Kaposi sarcoma are also particularly common.


Contact: April Frawley
University of Florida

Related biology news :

1. Painkillers may decrease susceptibility to recurring urinary infections
2. Humans and companion animals harbor the same types of MRSA infections
3. Involvement of a gene in lentivirus infections of sheep and goats has been established
4. Viral infections: Identifying the tell-tale patterns
5. Genetics can explain why infections can trigger rheumatoid arthritis
6. Among US children, more infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria
7. Gut bacteria can cause life-threatening infections in preterm babies
8. First look at how Staphylococcus cells adhere to nanostructures could help fight infections
9. Gonorrhea infections start from exposure to seminal fluid
10. £4 million to tackle spread of bacterial infections
11. Marine bacteria to fight tough infections
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert ... a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid ... software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the ... the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... to their offering. ... eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during ... Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis ... and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic ... one eye at a time. So which eye do you rinse first if a dangerous ... have Plum Duo Eye Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider ... nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will launch ... for communication among health care professionals to enhance the patient ... office staff, and other health care professionals to help women ... cancer. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 ... ... in August compared the implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh ... the contribution of progesterone and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Inc., a development-stage cancer-focused pharmaceutical company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, ... uses of targeted HPLN (Hybrid Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: