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.

Related Articles


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 December 19, 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 December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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