John Nicholls and colleagues at the University of Hong Kong and Adelaide Women and Children's Hospital, in Australia, describe a modified technique to visualize the putative receptors for influenza viruses in the upper and lower respiratory tract, including the lung.
Sialic acid molecules on the cell surface act as chemical beacons for the influenza virus. Once the virus finds sialic acid, it can attach and infect the cell, although the precise distribution of sialic acid molecules affects how easily the virus can find host cells to infect.
The team has turned to lectins- molecules which bind sugars, to help them differentiate receptors for human and avian influenza viruses. The researchers used an improved staining technique to see how well two lectins, Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA) and Maackia amurensis agglutinin (MAA), bind to different forms of sialic acid on respiratory tract cells in healthy adults and children. SNA is particularly good at identifying the receptor for human influenza viruses while MAA identifies the receptor for avian viruses - including H5N1.
The researchers found that a particular form of MAA (MAA1) displayed widespread binding throughout the respiratory tract, but was particularly good at binding to children's cells in the lower respiratory tract as well as the upper respiratory tract of adults. Although this MAA1 binding is not unique for avian influenza receptors, these findings could explain how avian influenza infects children more readily than it does adults. This may explain previous findings from this group that avian H5N1 viruses can infect the human upper respiratory tract, even though these tissues were thought to lack receptors for these viruses.
"Understanding the how and why of avian virus infection of humans is a very complex process involving research into properties of H5N1 virus, the host receptor and the cellular response" said Dr John Nicholls. "We believe that the studies we have done investigating where the receptors are located and their distribution with age is a small step towards unravelling this process and help in finding ways to diminish the potential treat from this emerging infection."
Flavins keep a handy helper in their pocket
25.04.2018 | University of Freiburg
Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled
24.04.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2018 | Information Technology