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 September 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 September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. 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