Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Herpesviruses undercover: How the virus goes undetected by body's immune system

Date:
June 6, 2014
Source:
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research
Summary:
Pathogens entering our body only remain unnoticed for a short period. Within minutes our immune cells detect the invader and trigger an immune response. However, some viruses have developed strategies to avoid detection and elimination by our immune system. Researchers have now been able to show how the herpesviruses achieve this.

Toll-like receptor 2 is normally localized to the cell membrane (green outlines, left panel). However, a KSHV protein affects the normal distribution (diffuse green, right panel). Endoplasmic reticulum is shown in red.
Credit: Image courtesy of Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

Pathogens entering our body only remain unnoticed for a short period. Within minutes our immune cells detect the invader and trigger an immune response. However, some viruses have developed strategies to avoid detection and elimination by our immune system. Researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig have now been able to show how the herpesviruses achieve this.

Related Articles


The Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), a gammaherpesvirus that can cause multiple forms of cancer, establishes lifelong infections within the body. To do so the virus has to find a way to modulate the immune system of its host.

"Intruders are usually fought off immediately by an antiviral immune response that is triggered by sensors including the toll-like receptors (TLR)," says HZI researcher Dr. Kendra Bussey, author of the study that was published in the "Journal of Virology." Toll-like receptors detect the virus by binding to structures on the viral surface or the viral DNA, and trigger a signal chain that in the end leads to an antiviral immune response. Ideally this means that the pathogen is eliminated immediately. This mechanism, however, does not seem to work for KSHV and other gammaherpesviruses, as those can remain within the body for a long time.

How the virus does this was unknown until now. The scientists from the HZI research group "Viral Immune Modulation" under the leadership of Prof. Melanie Brinkmann have now been able to show that the virus is actively preventing activation of the innate immune system through Toll-like receptors.

It has yet to be established how exactly and in which part of the Toll-like receptor function is disturbed. This is one of the leverage points for future research: "The better we understand how the virus protects itself from attacks by the immune system, the better we can use this knowledge to fight infections," Brinkmann says.

This may lead to the development of new drugs against gammaherpesviruses. "Those agents could actively protect the immune system and prevent viruses from winning the fight against it," says Bussey. "However, this is still a long way off."

Ideally, our immune system will recognize and subsequently eliminate pathogens that enter our bodies. However, many microorganisms and viruses have evolved strategies to evade immune detection. The "Viral Immune Modulation" research group seeks to uncover the different mechanisms that particularly herpes viruses use to perform this feat.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. A. Bussey, E. Reimer, H. Todt, B. Denker, A. Gallo, A. Konrad, M. Ottinger, H. Adler, M. Sturzl, W. Brune, M. M. Brinkmann. The gammaherpesviruses KSHV and MHV68 modulate the TLR-induced proinflammatory cytokine response. Journal of Virology, 2014; DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00841-14

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. "Herpesviruses undercover: How the virus goes undetected by body's immune system." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140606102045.htm>.
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. (2014, June 6). Herpesviruses undercover: How the virus goes undetected by body's immune system. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140606102045.htm
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. "Herpesviruses undercover: How the virus goes undetected by body's immune system." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140606102045.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