Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Quicker testing for viral infections saves money and lives

10.10.2011
A new method for quickly identifying individual viruses and recognising how they bind to host cells may become a vital tool in the early control of winter vomiting disease and other virus-based diseases.

In the west, this means saving money and reducing stress on health-care systems. In developing countries, this means saving lives. The method has been jointly developed by researchers at Chalmers and the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Every year hundreds of thousands of children in developing countries suffer from winter vomiting disease or related viral infections. The disease also hits the western world's health care services hard, closing departments and delaying treatments.

All viral infections are caused by an individual virus binding to specific receptors on the surface of a host cell. The thousands of copies of the virus which the host cell produces, quickly attack new cells and illness becomes inevitable. Early identification and understanding of how a virus binds to the cell's surface is vital in overcoming the disease.

Researchers at Chalmers and at the University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy have now taken an important step towards both making diagnosis more effective and improving options for developing virus-inhibiting drugs. The results, soon to be published in the prestigious journal Physical Review Letters, are based on a method developed at Chalmers.

“Briefly, the method makes it possible to identify and study individual viruses, 40 nanometres in size. No other method, based on similar simple analysis, provides the same level of sensitivity without the virus having been modified in some way before the analysis,” says Professor Fredrik Höök who led the study.

At the Sahlgrenska Academy, Professor Göran Larson has succeeded in identifying a number of sugar molecules which bind strongly to the particular virus that causes winter vomiting disease. This knowledge has now been combined with the methodology developed at Chalmers and the result is an opportunity to study in detail the very first contact between a virus and the surface of the cell which contains a number of different sugar molecules.

The increased level of sensitivity offered by this method may make it central to the assessment of drug candidates developed with the aim of preventing the virus from binding to its host cell.

By looking at the weak bindings which are the precursor to the strong interaction which causes the virus to be taken up by the cell, the researchers will also be able to study how the virus mutates year on year. These mutations are one of the causes of increased intensity of outbreaks, making quick diagnosis of new viral strains of vital importance.

Furthermore, as the individual virus can be identified, the researchers hope that it will be possible to attack the very small quantities of virus responsible for spreading the disease, e.g. via drinking water, at an earlier stage than is possible today.

The research is supported by Vinnova, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and Chalmers’ Area of Advance Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

For more information, please contact: 

Professor Göran Larson
Telephone: +46 31 342 13 30, +46 70 625 02 16
Email: goran.larson@clinchem.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A new approach to targeting cancer cells
20.05.2019 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Radioisotope couple for tumor diagnosis and therapy
14.05.2019 | Kanazawa University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Planetologists explain how the formation of the moon brought water to Earth

21.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New Measurement Device: Carbon Dioxide As Geothermometer

21.05.2019 | Earth Sciences

New bioinformatics platform for the genome-based taxonomical classification of bacteria and archaea

21.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>