Friday, October 10, 2014

Hunting Viruses that Play Hide and Seek

News Brief by Kathryn Gibb

The human metapneumovirus, hMPV, is a virus that was discovered in 2001 by Dutch researchers.  This virus often appears as though it is the common cold, but often can develop to spread to the respiratory system and cause other issues such as swelling, excess mucus, or acute respiratory infections.  Many researchers believe that once you’ve had the virus once, you will develop an immunity to it.  Acute respiratory infections have caught the attention of many researchers in past years who are looking to create vaccines to prevent deaths associated with hMPV infections.  In Western developed countries, there are adequate resources to hospitalize patients and provide treatment to help those with difficulty breathing.  On the other hand, in many developing nations, children with these respiratory infections die.  One of the main issues associated with viruses is that they are able to “hide” or disrupt warning signals sent out by the immune system, thereby evading attack.  Ingvild Bjellemo Johnsen, an academic fellow at the The Norwegian University of Science and Technology is working to develop a vaccine and other forms of treatment.

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). "Hunting viruses that play hide and seek." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2014. .

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