Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Measles Virus Spreads: Discovery May Rewrite Textbooks

Date:
June 22, 2008
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Measles, one of the most common contagious diseases, has been thought to enter the body through the surface of airways and lungs, like many other major viruses. Now, scientists say that's not the case, and some medical texts will have to be revised.

Measles, one of the most common contagious diseases, has been thought to enter the body through the surface of airways and lungs, like many other major viruses. Now, Mayo Clinic researchers and their collaborators say that's not the case, and some medical texts will have to be revised.

"It has long been assumed that measles virus infects the airway epithelium before infecting immune cells," says Roberto Cattaneo, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic virologist and senior author of the study. "But we've shown that replication in the airways is not required, and that a virus replicating only in immune cells causes measles in monkeys."

The research team generated a measles virus that cannot enter the airway epithelium and showed that it spread in lymphocytes, cells of the immune system, and remained virulent. Researchers also showed, as they predicted in a new model of infection, that the virus could not cross the respiratory epithelium on its way out of the lungs and was not shed from infected monkeys.

Significance of the Research

From a treatment standpoint, the findings help physician-researchers better understand how measles virus, which can be reprogrammed to eliminate cancer cells, spreads in its host. The research may help improve efficacy and safety of cancer therapy, and lead to a better understanding of how viruses similar to measles function. A result could be more effective vaccines for other diseases.

From a strictly scientific perspective, the study challenges a widely held assumption about this common contagion. In the introduction to their article, the researchers cite two recent medical texts on the measles virus that say it infects the upper respiratory epithelium before spreading to the rest of the body. In light of their findings, the investigators say those statements will have to be revised.

The team tested their hypothesis by developing a form of the measles virus that could not enter epithelia because it was made "blind" to the epithelial cell receptor, but could enter lymphatic cells through another receptor. The virus was tested on rhesus monkeys, inoculated via the nasal tract. They developed a rash and lost weight (both symptoms of measles in the species), but follow-up tests showed that the virus did not enter through the airway epithelium, though the lymph system was infected.

Co-authors include Vincent Leonard, Ph.D.; Tanner Miest; and Patricia Devaux, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic; Partrick Sinn, Ph.D., and Paul McCray, Jr., M.D., University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine; Gregory Hodge and Michael B. McChesney, Ph.D., University of California Davis; Numan Oezguen, Ph.D., and Werner Braun, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. Support for the study came from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Leonard et al. Measles virus blind to its epithelial cell receptor remains virulent in rhesus monkeys but cannot cross the airway epithelium and is not shed. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2008 DOI: 10.1172/JCI35454

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "How Measles Virus Spreads: Discovery May Rewrite Textbooks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620195502.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2008, June 22). How Measles Virus Spreads: Discovery May Rewrite Textbooks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620195502.htm
Mayo Clinic. "How Measles Virus Spreads: Discovery May Rewrite Textbooks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080620195502.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. 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:
from the past week

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