Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cold sore linked to mutation in gene

Date:
September 16, 2013
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Why some people are troubled by cold sores while others are not has finally been explained by scientists. Cold sores affect around one in five people but, until now, no one has been sure why some are more prone to the virus that causes them.

Why some people are troubled by cold sores while others are not has finally been explained by scientists.

Cold sores affect around one in five people but, until now, no one has been sure why some are more prone to the virus that causes them.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found that people affected by cold sores have a mutation in a gene, which means their immune system is not able to prevent them from developing.

Cold sores are caused by a strain of the herpes simplex virus -- herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Between 80 and 90 per cent of people are infected with the virus, but only about a quarter of them get frequent cold sores.

Scientists analysed thousands of genes to identify which ones expressed the proteins needed by the body's immune system to prevent the virus from becoming active and -- as a result -- cold sores from developing.

They then looked at blood samples from people with cold sores and found that one of the genes previously identified -- IL28b -- was mutated.

This genetic mutation means that the body is not able to mount an adequate immune response to the virus, which results in cold sores.

The gene identified is also linked to treatment responses for hepatitis C patients. If this gene is mutated, patients are less likely to respond as well to treatment. The link is further evidence that a single genetic mutation can be linked to different viruses.

The study, published in the journal Plos Pathogens, was funded by the Medical Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the European Union.

Professor Juergen Haas, of the University of Edinburgh's Division of Pathway Medicine, said: "Most people carry the cold sore strain of the herpes simplex virus, but until now we never knew why only some of them develop cold sores.

"Knowing that susceptibility to the virus involved relates to people's genes reinforces the need to research, not only the evolution of viruses themselves, but also the susceptibility of hosts to infection."


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. Samantha J. Griffiths, Manfred Koegl, Chris Boutell, Helen L. Zenner, Colin M. Crump, Francesca Pica, Orland Gonzalez, Caroline C. Friedel, Gerald Barry, Kim Martin, Marie H. Craigon, Rui Chen, Lakshmi N. Kaza, Even Fossum, John K. Fazakerley, Stacey Efstathiou, Antonio Volpi, Ralf Zimmer, Peter Ghazal, Jόrgen Haas. A Systematic Analysis of Host Factors Reveals a Med23-Interferon-λ Regulatory Axis against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Replication. PLoS Pathogens, 2013; 9 (8): e1003514 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003514

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Cold sore linked to mutation in gene." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916122011.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2013, September 16). Cold sore linked to mutation in gene. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916122011.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Cold sore linked to mutation in gene." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916122011.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) — Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
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