by Gertrud U. Rey Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) include a variety of fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by infectious proteins called prions. Although prions are not viruses, their ability to self-propagate without a nucleic acid intermediate has always fascinated virologists, causing them to adopt prions into their repertoire of pathogenic agents. Common TSEs comprise scrapie in …
By Gertrud U. Rey Quorum sensing is a form of cell to cell communication in bacteria in which individual cells coordinate their behavior based on population density. In human terms, the word “quorum” means “the minimum number of people required to conduct business.”
By Gertrud U. Rey Post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) is an RNA regulation pathway in eukaryotes that depends on the presence of double stranded RNA (dsRNA) in the cytoplasm of cells. As stated by Nels Elde in TWiEVO 8, dsRNA in the cytoplasm has an effect synonymous to “blood in the water” for the innate immune …
By Gertrud U. Rey Although antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been highly effective at controlling HIV-1 viral loads in the bloodstream of infected individuals, the virus remains latent in infected cells and starts replicating within a couple of weeks upon termination of therapy.
By Gertrud U. Rey Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of respiratory illness, including bronchiolitis and pneumonia, in the young, elderly, and immunocompromised. RSV poses a substantial public health threat due to its association with severe morbidity and mortality in infants and premature babies.
By Gertrud U. Rey Zika virus (ZIKV) infection causes microcephaly in newborns and is causally associated with Guillian-Barré syndrome in adults. To date, there are no drugs available to prevent or treat ZIKV infection. ZIKV vaccine research is challenging because adult immunocompetent mice are resistant to ZIKV infection and disease.