Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Study Shows SARS Can Infect Brain Tissue

Date:
September 15, 2005
Source:
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Summary:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), by its very name, indicates a disease of the respiratory tract. But SARS can also infiltrate brain tissue, causing significant central nervous system problems, according to an article in the Oct. 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Related Articles


SARS, a potentiallyfatal illness caused by a coronavirus, was first reported in Asia inFebruary of 2003. The disease is usually transmitted by contact withcoronavirus-laden droplets sprayed into the air by an infected person’scoughing. Other symptoms can include high fever, headache, body aches,and pneumonia. However, some patients also exhibit central nervoussystem ailments. In a new study, the researchers report the case of a39-year-old doctor who treated SARS patients in China during the 2003outbreak and became infected himself.

He showed the usualsymptoms of SARS--fever, chills, headache, muscle pain--but afterhospitalization, he developed vision problems, then progressively worsecentral nervous system symptoms, like restlessness and delirium. Acomputed tomography scan indicated brain damage. He died about a monthafter being hospitalized, and his brain tissue was examined and foundto contain the SARS coronavirus. The researchers also discovered a highlevel of Mig, a type of immune system regulator called a chemokine, inthe man’s bloodstream and brain, which may have resulted from thecentral nervous system infection. The researchers speculated that Migcould also have contributed to his brain damage by attractingimmunological cells to the site of the viral infection in the brain,where their inflammatory effects may have done more harm than good.

Thereare a few possibilities for curbing Mig’s possible role in causingbrain damage in SARS patients with central nervous system infection,according to lead author Jun Xu, PhD, of the Guangzhou Institute ofRespiratory Diseases and senior author Yong Jiang, PhD, of the KeyLaboratory of Functional Proteomics of Guangdong Province. “There mightbe some ways of controlling the release of Mig, such as specificinhibitors that interfere [with] the signaling pathways involved,” Dr.Jiang said. “Other approaches, such as neutralizing antibodies [and]specific binding peptides, could be tried to block brain damage inducedby Mig.”

Four to five percent of SARS patients treated at theGuangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases experienced central nervoussystem symptoms, said Dr. Xu; therefore, physicians need to be aware ofthe potential for brain infection when evaluating patients with thedisease. Immunosuppressive drugs should be administered carefully andon an individual basis, as they may allow amplification of the SARScoronavirus in the brain. “Superinfection” with other pathogens couldalso contribute to SARS’ harmful effects on the brain. “Physiciansshould pay more attention to the prevention of brain damage if [SARSpatients] are superinfected with other conditional pathogens,”according to Dr. Xu and Dr. Jiang.

###

Founded in 1979,Clinical Infectious Diseases publishes clinical articles twice monthlyin a variety of areas of infectious disease, and is one of the mosthighly regarded journals in this specialty. It is published under theauspices of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Based inAlexandria, Virginia, IDSA is a professional society representing about8,000 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases.For more information, visit www.idsociety.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Infectious Diseases Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Infectious Diseases Society of America. "New Study Shows SARS Can Infect Brain Tissue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050915002938.htm>.
Infectious Diseases Society of America. (2005, September 15). New Study Shows SARS Can Infect Brain Tissue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050915002938.htm
Infectious Diseases Society of America. "New Study Shows SARS Can Infect Brain Tissue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050915002938.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins