BREAKING! Danish Researchers Discover How Viruses Avoid Immune System. Findings Could Help Develop Treatments for Herpes, Flu and Coronavirus
: Danish researchers from Aarhus University have identified how viruses avoid the body’s immune system and cause infections and diseases.
It has long been known that viruses have an exceptional ability to circumvent the body’s immune system and cause diseases.
Although the majority of individuals recover from a viral infection such as influenza, the current COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates how dangerous viruses are when there is no effective vaccines or treatment.
Dr Soren Riis Paludan, a Professor and virologist from the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University, Denmark, has been leading a research partnership between Aarhus University, the University of Oxford and the University of Gothenburg, which has brought us one step closer to understanding the tactics used by viruses when they attack the immune system.
Dr Paludan heads a laboratory that carries out research into the immune system’s ability to fight diseases caused by the herpes virus, influenza viruses and, most recently, SARS-CoV2, more commonly known as coronavirus.
The research which has just been published in the scientific journal Journal of Experimental Medicine
, shows how the study team had investigated how the herpes simplex virus circumvents the immune system in order to cause infections of the brain. This is a rare infection but one which has a high mortality rate among those who are affected. https://rupress.org/jem/article/doi/10.1084/jem.20191422/151747/HSV1-VP12-deubiquitinates-STING-to-block-type-I
Dr Paludan told Thailand Medical News, “In the research, the team found that the herpes simplex virus is capable of inhibiting a protein in the cells, known as STING, which is activated when there is a threat. When STING is inhibited, the body’s immune system is also inhibited; the virus thereby puts the brakes on the body’s brake, which is supposed to prevent us from becoming ill. Other viruses also make use of the same principle.”
STING plays a significant role in innate immunity. It has been shown to activate downstream transcription factors STAT6 and IRF3 through TBK1, which are responsible for antiviral response and innate immune response against intracellular pathogen
Dr Paludan points out that though the study focuses on herpesviruses, there are parallels to the coronavirus. Interestingly, the same protein is also inhibited by many different viruses, including the coronavirus.
Dr Paludan added, “This suggests that we have found an Achilles heel in the virus and the way it establishes infections in the body. Our results lead us to hope that if we can prevent viruses from blocking STING, then we can prevent the virus from replicating. That could pave the way for new principles for treatment of herpes, influenza and also the coronavirus.”
The researchers hope that the study findings can be utilized in the development of antiviral drugs and vaccines in the future.
Dr Paludan fu
rther added, “Past research have also shown that the coronavirus inhibits STING in the same way as the herpes virus. This implies that we have found a common denominator for several types of virus, and that this is probably an important element in the development of a treatment protocol.”
For more research developments about the body’s immune system
, keep checking at Thailand Medical News.
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