Bond Breaker

A new PNAS study reveals a mechanism that enables chikungunya virus—a mosquito-transmitted infection that causes severe joint pain—to infect healthy cells and determines the disease’s severity. Using neuronal cells and mouse models, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers observed the virus breaking bonds between proteins and a chemical group called ADP-ribose, an activity crucial to its replication. The higher the bond-breaking ability, the more infectious the virus, the research found.
 
Interfering with the mechanism could be a way to fight not just chikungunya, says study leader Anthony K.L. Leung, but also similar diseases such as SARS.
 
Source: Infection Control Today

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