Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How flu can cause severe infections

Date:
June 28, 2012
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a new gene in the influenza virus that helps the virus control the body's response to infection. Although this control is exerted by the virus, surprisingly it reduces the impact of the infection.

Scientists have discovered a new gene in the influenza virus that helps the virus control the body's response to infection.

Although this control is exerted by the virus, surprisingly it reduces the impact of the infection.

The findings will help researchers better understand how flu can cause severe infections, as well as inform research into new treatments.

Researchers found when the virus gene -- called PA-X -- was active, mice infected with flu subsequently recovered.

When the PA-X gene did not work properly, the immune system was found to overreact. This made the infection worse, and did not help destroy the virus any quicker.

The study looked at how the gene affected the behaviour of "Spanish flu," a virulent strain of influenza that caused a pandemic in 1918.

It was carried out by the Universities of Cambridge, Cork, Edinburgh and Utah, the Institute of Systems Biology in Seattle and the United States National Institutes of Health.

Scientists discovered the PA-X gene some 30 years after flu genome was first decoded.

Professor Paul Digard, of The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, said: "Just finding this gene in the first place is important, but the find is even more significant because of the role it seems to play in the body's response to flu."

The researchers, whose study is published online in the journal Science, found the hidden gene by analyzing patterns of changes in the genetic information of thousands of different flu strains.

Dr Andrew Firth, of the University of Cambridge, said: "The flu virus has a very, very small genome -- just 12 genes. Finding a new gene makes a pretty significant change to our understanding of this virus."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. B. W. Jagger, H. M. Wise, J. C. Kash, K.-A. Walters, N. M. Wills, Y.-L. Xiao, R. L. Dunfee, L. M. Schwartzman, A. Ozinsky, G. L. Bell, R. M. Dalton, A. Lo, S. Efstathiou, J. F. Atkins, A. E. Firth, J. K. Taubenberger, and P. Digard. An Overlapping Protein-Coding Region in Influenza A Virus Segment 3 Modulates the Host Response. Science, 28 June 2012 DOI: 10.1126/science.1222213

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "How flu can cause severe infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120628181733.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2012, June 28). How flu can cause severe infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120628181733.htm
University of Edinburgh. "How flu can cause severe infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120628181733.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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