Sep 26, 2022

Viruses may monitor their hosts’ environment to spread more effectively

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

This is both good and bad news.

A team of international researchers has revealed that viruses take cues from their surroundings to perform different actions. This implies that they have the ability to sense their and their host’s environment and decide whether or not it is suitable to spread infection, attack the host cells, multiply in number, or suspend activity at any given time.

The researchers believe that this discovery could further disclose various unknown aspects of the virus-host interaction and lead to the development of a new generation of antiviral drugs. During their study, they studied bacteriophages, also called “phages,” viruses that infect and harm bacteria, and discovered that the DNA of such viruses contains binding sites for a protein called CtrA.

Interestingly, a phage never produces CtrA, so why does its DNA have a binding site for the protein? While looking for an answer to this question, the researchers discovered an unheard power of the phages.

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