Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biofilms: Discovery of a new mechanism of virus propagation

Date:
February 8, 2010
Source:
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange)
Summary:
Researchers have shown for the first time that certain viruses are capable of forming complex biofilm-like assemblies, similar to bacterial biofilms. These extracellular infectious structures may protect viruses from the immune system and enable them to spread efficiently from cell to cell. "Viral biofilms" would appear to be a major mechanism of propagation for certain viruses. They are therefore emerging as new and particularly attractive therapeutic targets.

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur and CNRS have shown for the first time that certain viruses are capable of forming complex biofilm-like assemblies, similar to bacterial biofilms. These extracellular infectious structures may protect viruses from the immune system and enable them to spread efficiently from cell to cell. "Viral biofilms" would appear to be a major mechanism of propagation for certain viruses. They are therefore emerging as new and particularly attractive therapeutic targets.

Researchers from the Institut Pasteur and CNRS, headed by Maria-Isabel Thoulouze and Andrés Alcover within the Lymphocyte Cell Biology Unit, in collaboration with Antoine Gessain from the Oncogenic Virus Epidemiology and Physiopathology Unit and with the Imagopole, recently identified, for the first time in viral research, "biofilm" like structures, formed by the HTLV-1 retrovirus on the surface of infected cells. These are aggregates of viruses embedded in a carbohydrate-rich structure containing cell-secreted extracellular matrix, whose synthesis is controlled by the virus.

The HTLV-1 virus (human T-cell leukemia virus type 1) was the first human retrovirus to be isolated, in 1980, three years prior to the discovery of HIV, the retrovirus that causes AIDS. It infects 15 to 20 million people worldwide and causes various diseases, ranging from adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma to forms of neuromyelopathy (tropical spastic paraparesis) or other chronic inflammatory syndromes, such as infectious dermatitis, uveitis and myositis. The dissemination of HTLV-1 was known to require infected cells and cell-cell contacts, but the transmission mechanism itself was still a mystery.

In the biofilm -- an effective protective and adhesive barrier -- HTLV-1 is far more easily transmitted than in its free, isolated state. By removing the viral biofilm from the surface of the infected cells, researchers achieved an 80% reduction in infection rates, thus underlining the importance of this transmission mode for HTLV-1.

In bacteria, the existence of biofilms has been known for many years. They form the dental plaque on the enamel surface of teeth and are also found in industrial systems and in our own intestinal flora. When they colonize medical implants, such as prosthesis or catheters, they can cause repeated infection. For these reasons, bacterial biofilms have been the focus of intensive research in the aim to limit their development and render them responsive to anti-bacterial treatment.

Scientists are currently seeking to characterize the mechanisms of viral biofilm generation, and to determine whether viruses other than HTLV-1 form this kind of structure. For viruses forming biofilms, it would be useful to define new anti-viral therapeutic strategies, which would target, not only the virus itself, but the formation of these viral biofilms.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ana-Monica Pais-Correia, Martin Sachse, Stéphanie Guadagnini, Valentina Robbiati, Rémi Lasserre, Antoine Gessain, Olivier Gout, Andrés Alcover & Maria-Isabel Thoulouze. Biofilm-like extracellular viral assemblies mediate HTLV-1 cell-to-cell transmission at virological synapses. Nature Medicine, 2010; 16 (1): 83 DOI: 10.1038/nm.2065

Cite This Page:

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Biofilms: Discovery of a new mechanism of virus propagation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100205115946.htm>.
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). (2010, February 8). Biofilms: Discovery of a new mechanism of virus propagation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100205115946.htm
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Biofilms: Discovery of a new mechanism of virus propagation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100205115946.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japan's Golden Generation Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

Japan's Golden Generation Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

AFP (Aug. 27, 2014) — For many people in the autumn of their lives, walking up stairs is the biggest physical challenge they face. But in Japan, race tracks, hammer or pole vault await competitors at the Kyoto Masters, some of them more than 100 years old. Duration: 02:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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