Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers pioneer treatment for viral infection common in children

Date:
February 4, 2013
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a new way in which a very common childhood disease could be treated. In the first year of life, 65 per cent of babies get infected by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). This causes bronchiolitis, and is thought to kill nearly 200,000 children every year worldwide. In 1966 and 1967, vaccines were tested for RSV. These had disastrous effects on the immune response, leading to a worsening of the disease and, in many cases, death. Scientists have so far not been able to fully explain this effect, which continues to hold back vaccine development. Studying this effect in mice, a research team developed a new technique which they hope might be used in tackling a wide range of other diseases including viral bronchiolitis.

Researchers at Imperial College London have discovered a new way in which a very common childhood disease could be treated.

In the first year of life, 65 per cent of babies get infected by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). This causes bronchiolitis, and is thought to kill nearly 200,000 children every year worldwide.

In 1966 and 1967, vaccines were tested for RSV. These had disastrous effects on the immune response, leading to a worsening of the disease and, in many cases, death. Scientists have so far not been able to fully explain this effect, which continues to hold back vaccine development.

Studying this effect in mice, Imperial’s Professor Peter Openshaw and his team developed a new technique which they hope might be used in tackling a wide range of other diseases including viral bronchiolitis.

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers examined how the RSV vaccine boosts white blood cells that respond to infection, making them flock to the lungs and blocking the tubes that supply oxygen. They found that the vaccine boosted the accumulation of these T cells, but also virtually eliminated the regulatory immune response in the lungs caused cells known as Tregs.

Professor Openshaw said: “The reason for the vaccine’s failure has been a puzzle for over 40 years. To solve it, we tested out new ideas about how the immune system slows down inflammation. If it doesn’t regulate itself properly, inflammation can run out of control. This vaccine seems to have locked the accelerator in the on position and to have disabled the brakes.

Next, the team tested the effects of chemokines, proteins which cause nearby cells to move from place to place in the body. They found that when vaccinated mice inhaled the chemokines, Tregs were attracted back into the lungs where they reduced inflammation and helped to fight infection.

Professor Openshaw added “This is a very important discovery - it represents an entirely new way to treat these inflammatory diseases.” If this approach were to work in patients, it could be used in a wide range of conditions in which there is excessive inflammation such as arthritis or psoriasis as well as bronchiolitis.

Openshaw’s group hope that by gaining a better understanding of RSV disease they may at last be able to understand why some babies get so seriously ill, whereas others make a quick recovery. This knowledge could lead progress in reducing RSV’s global impact and in the development of safe, and effective, vaccines.

This research was funded by the Wellcome Trust.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jens Loebbermann, Lydia Durant, Hannah Thornton, Cecilia Johansson and Peter J Openshaw. Defective immunoregulation in RSV vaccine-augmented viral lung disease restored by selective chemoattraction of regulatory T cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1217580110

Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Researchers pioneer treatment for viral infection common in children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130204101404.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2013, February 4). Researchers pioneer treatment for viral infection common in children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130204101404.htm
Imperial College London. "Researchers pioneer treatment for viral infection common in children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130204101404.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. 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