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    The Puzzling Virus That Infects Almost Everyone – Business News Press

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    The Puzzling Virus That Infects Almost Everyone

    by admin March 3, 2022

    Statistically talking, the virus often known as Epstein-Barr is inside you proper now. It’s inside 95 percent of us. It spreads via saliva, so maybe you first caught the virus as a child out of your mom, who caught it as a child from her mom. Otherwise you picked it up at day care. Or maybe from a buddy with whom you shared a Coke. Or the beautiful woman you kissed on the social gathering that chilly New Yr’s Eve.

    Should you caught the virus on this final situation—as a teen or younger grownup—then Epstein-Barr could have triggered mono, or the “kissing illness,” through which an enormous immune response towards the pathogen causes weeks of sore throat, fever, and debilitating fatigue. For causes poorly understood however not distinctive amongst viruses, Epstein-Barr virus, or EBV, hits tougher the later you get it in life. Should you first caught the virus as a child or younger baby, as most individuals do, the preliminary an infection was probably gentle, if not asymptomatic. Unremarkable. And so this virus has managed to fly underneath the radar, regardless of infecting virtually your complete globe. EBV is usually jokingly stated to face for “everyone’s virus.” As soon as contained in the physique, the virus hides inside your cells for the remainder of your life, however it appears principally benign.

    Besides, besides. Within the a long time since its discovery by the virologists Anthony Epstein and Yvonne Barr in 1964, the virus has been linked not solely to mono but in addition fairly definitively to cancers within the head and neck, blood, and abdomen. It’s additionally been linked, extra controversially, to a number of autoimmune problems. Not too long ago, the hyperlink to at least one autoimmune dysfunction acquired lots stronger: Two separate research revealed this yr make the case—convincingly, consultants say—that Epstein-Barr virus is a reason for a number of sclerosis, through which the physique mistakenly assaults the nervous system. “If you talked about the virus and MS 20 years in the past, individuals had been like, Get misplaced … It was a really destructive angle,” says Alberto Ascherio, an epidemiologist at Harvard and a lead creator of one of those studies, which used 20 years of blood samples to point out that getting contaminated with EBV massively will increase the chance of growing a number of sclerosis. The connection between virus and illness is tough to dismiss now. However how is it that EBV causes such an enormous vary of outcomes, from a barely noticeable an infection to persistent, life-altering sickness?

    Within the face of a novel coronavirus, my colleague Ed Yong famous {that a} bigger pandemic is a weirder pandemic: The sheer variety of instances signifies that even one-in-a-million occasions turn out to be not unusual. EBV is way from novel; it belongs to a household of viruses that had been infecting our ancestors before they were really human. Nevertheless it does infect almost all of humanity and in uncommon events causes extremely uncommon outcomes. Its ubiquity manifests its weirdness. A long time after its discovery and possibly millennia after these first historical infections, we’re nonetheless attempting to grasp how bizarre this outdated and acquainted virus will be. We do little to curb the unfold of Epstein-Barr proper now. As the complete scope of its penalties turns into clearer, will we ultimately resolve it’s value stopping in any case?

    From its very discovery, Epstein-Barr confounded our concepts of what a virus can or can not do. The primary individual to suspect EBV’s existence was Denis Burkitt, a British surgeon in Uganda, who had the unorthodox concept that the weird jaw tumors he saved seeing in younger youngsters had been brought on by a then-undiscovered pathogen. The tumors grew fast—doubling in dimension in 24 to 48 hours—and had been stuffed with white blood cells or lymphocytes turned cancerous. This illness grew to become often known as Burkitt’s lymphoma. Burkitt suspected a pathogen as a result of the jaw tumors appeared to unfold from space to neighboring space and adopted seasonal patterns. In different phrases, this lymphoma appeared like an epidemic.

    In 1963, a biopsy of cells from a woman with Burkitt’s lymphoma made its method to the lab of Anthony Epstein, in London. One in all his college students, Yvonne Barr, helped prepare the samples. Beneath the electron microscope, they noticed the distinctive form of a herpesvirus, a household that additionally contains the viruses behind genital herpes, chilly sores, and rooster pox. And the tumor cells particularly had been stuffed with this virus. Case closed? Not but. On the time, the concept that a virus may trigger most cancers was “fairly distant,” says Alan Rickinson, a most cancers researcher who labored in Epstein’s lab within the Nineteen Seventies. “There was quite a lot of skepticism.” What’s extra, the virus’s ubiquity made issues complicated. Critics identified that certain, youngsters with Burkitt’s lymphoma had antibodies to EBV, however so did wholesome youngsters in Africa. So did American children for that matter, in addition to remoted Icelandic farmers and folks belonging to a distant tribe within the Brazilian rainforest. The virus was all over the place scientists appeared, but Burkitt’s lymphoma was largely confined to equatorial Africa. What if EBV was simply an harmless bystander? Why wasn’t the virus inflicting illness wherever else?

    Source : businessnewspress.com

    Mouse study suggests viral infections can lead to autoimmune diseases

    Evidence is mounting that innocuous viral infections can in some cases cascade into a range of serious diseases. In a new study in mice, researchers uncovered a mechanism by which a common childhood virus could play a role in autoimmune diseases.

    MEDICAL

    Mouse study suggests viral infections can lead to autoimmune diseases

    By Michael Irving February 28, 2022 Facebook Twitter Flipboard LinkedIn

    An infected cell releases roseolovirus particlesBernard Kramarsky

    VIEW 1 IMAGES

    Evidence is mounting that seemingly innocuous viral infections can in some cases cascade into a range of more serious diseases. In a new study in mice, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have uncovered a mechanism by which a common childhood virus could play a role in autoimmune diseases down the track.

    Viral infections are extremely common throughout our lives, with most resolving without serious issue. But recent research is increasingly showing that many of these apparently benign infections could possibly, in combination with other genetic and environmental factors, trigger diseases like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and several types of cancer. Exactly how these viruses set off these chain reactions remains unclear, but in the new study the researchers may have uncovered one possible mechanism.

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    Roseolovirus is a type of herpesvirus that infects almost everyone within the first few years of life. The initial illness is usually mild, involving a rash and a fever that clears up in days, but the virus itself sticks around for a lifetime, lying dormant. While it usually doesn’t cause any symptoms after that initial infection, scientists have suspected that it may play a role in autoimmune diseases.

    So for the new study, the Washington researchers investigated the link. They found that the virus seems to be able to infect the thymus, the organ where T cells mature so they can recognize foreign antigens. But the thymus also eliminates T cells that are liable to attack the body’s own cells – and it’s this latter process that the virus can disrupt. With this checkpoint weakened, more defective T cells circulate and increase the risk of autoimmune diseases.

    The team uncovered this mechanism in experiments in mice. They started by infecting newborn animals with a mouse version of roseolovirus, and found that 12 weeks later, all of the mice had developed autoimmune gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach.

    In other tests, the researchers treated the virus to see if that had an effect on the gastritis – when antivirals were administered over the first few days of infection, the inflammation didn’t occur. But if the drugs were given eight weeks later, it was too late to stop the gastritis from developing by the 12-week mark.

    While the autoimmune problems manifested in the stomachs of the infected mice, analysis revealed that the extent of the problem ran further. The team found that the mice had not only developed antibodies against proteins on stomach cells, but to a range of other proteins throughout the body, some of which are implicated in other autoimmune diseases.

    It’s important to note, however, that this study was performed on mice, with a mouse virus, and the results may not necessarily translate to humans. But the team says that the human roselovirus is very similar to that found in mice, so it at least warrants further investigation as a potential cause. Even so, it must only be one piece of the puzzle, due to how common the virus is.

    “Human autoimmune disease also may occur via viral infection that gets cleared but leaves damage that can cause autoimmunity,” said Wayne Yokoyama, senior author of the study. “But if so, there has to be some other factor that we don’t understand yet that makes some people more susceptible to the autoimmune effects of roseolovirus infection, because almost all people are infected, but most people do not get autoimmune diseases. That is a really important topic for further investigation.”

    The research was published in the .

    Source: Washington University in St. Louis

    Source : newatlas.com

    The Puzzling Virus That Infects Almost Everyone

    For many people, Epstein-Barr virus causes mild initial infection, but it is also linked to cancers and multiple sclerosis. What do we do about it?

    SCIENCE

    The Puzzling Virus That Infects Almost Everyone

    For many people, Epstein-Barr virus causes mild initial infection, but it is also linked to cancers and multiple sclerosis. What do we do about it?

    By Sarah Zhang

    The Atlantic MARCH 3, 2022

    Statistically speaking, the virus known as Epstein-Barr is inside you right now. It is inside 95 percent of us. It spreads through saliva, so perhaps you first caught the virus as a baby from your mother, who caught it as a baby from her mother. Or you picked it up at day care. Or perhaps from a friend with whom you shared a Coke. Or the pretty girl you kissed at the party that cold New Year’s Eve.

    If you caught the virus in this last scenario—as a teen or young adult—then Epstein-Barr may have triggered mono, or the “kissing disease,” in which a massive immune response against the pathogen causes weeks of sore throat, fever, and debilitating fatigue. For reasons poorly understood but not unique among viruses, Epstein-Barr virus, or EBV, hits harder the later you get it in life. If you first caught the virus as a baby or young child, as most people do, the initial infection was likely mild, if not asymptomatic. Unremarkable. And so this virus has managed to fly under the radar, despite infecting almost the entire globe. EBV is sometimes jokingly said to stand for “everybody’s virus.” Once inside the body, the virus hides inside your cells for the rest of your life, but it seems mostly benign.

    Except, except. In the decades since its discovery by the virologists Anthony Epstein and Yvonne Barr in 1964, the virus has been linked not only to mono but also quite definitively to cancers in the head and neck, blood, and stomach. It’s also been linked, more controversially, to several autoimmune disorders. Recently, the link to one autoimmune disorder got a lot stronger: Two separate studies published this year make the case—convincingly, experts say—that Epstein-Barr virus is a cause of multiple sclerosis, in which the body mistakenly attacks the nervous system. “When you mentioned the virus and MS 20 years ago, people were like, Get lost … It was a very negative attitude,” says Alberto Ascherio, an epidemiologist at Harvard and a lead author of one of those studies, which used 20 years of blood samples to show that getting infected with EBV massively increases the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. The connection between virus and disease is hard to dismiss now. But how is it that EBV causes such a huge range of outcomes, from a barely noticeable infection to chronic, life-altering illness?

    In the face of a novel coronavirus, my colleague Ed Yong noted that a bigger pandemic is a weirder pandemic: The sheer number of cases means that even one-in-a-million events become not uncommon. EBV is far from novel; it belongs to a family of viruses that were infecting our ancestors before they were really human. But it does infect nearly all of humanity and in rare occasions causes highly unusual outcomes. Its ubiquity manifests its weirdness. Decades after its discovery and probably millennia after those first ancient infections, we are still trying to understand how weird this old and familiar virus can be. We do little to curb the spread of Epstein-Barr right now. As the full scope of its consequences becomes clearer, will we eventually decide it’s worth stopping after all?

    From its very discovery, Epstein-Barr confounded our ideas of what a virus can or cannot do. The first person to suspect EBV’s existence was Denis Burkitt, a British surgeon in Uganda, who had the unorthodox idea that the unusual jaw tumors he kept seeing in young children were caused by a then-undiscovered pathogen. The tumors grew fast—doubling in size in 24 to 48 hours—and were full of white blood cells or lymphocytes turned cancerous. This disease became known as Burkitt’s lymphoma. Burkitt suspected a pathogen because the jaw tumors seemed to spread from area to neighboring area and followed seasonal patterns. In other words, this lymphoma looked like an epidemic.

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    In 1963, a biopsy of cells from a girl with Burkitt’s lymphoma made its way to the lab of Anthony Epstein, in London. One of his students, Yvonne Barr, helped prepare the samples. Under the electron microscope, they saw the distinctive shape of a herpesvirus, a family that also includes the viruses behind genital herpes, cold sores, and chicken pox. And the tumor cells specifically were full of this virus. Case closed? Not yet. At the time, the idea that a virus could cause cancer was “rather remote,” says Alan Rickinson, a cancer researcher who worked in Epstein’s lab in the 1970s. “There was a great deal of skepticism.” What’s more, the virus’s ubiquity made things confusing. Critics pointed out that sure, children with Burkitt’s lymphoma had antibodies to EBV, but so did healthy children in Africa. So did American children for that matter, as well as isolated Icelandic farmers and people belonging to a remote tribe in the Brazilian rainforest. The virus was everywhere scientists looked, yet Burkitt’s lymphoma was largely confined to equatorial Africa. What if EBV was just an innocent bystander? Why wasn’t the virus causing disease anywhere else?

    Source : www.theatlantic.com

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