Plasma-based treatment goes viralDecember 06, 2011
Life-threatening viruses such as HIV, SARS, hepatitis and influenza, could soon be combatted in an unusual manner as researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of plasma for inactivating and preventing the replication of adenoviruses.
When exposed to plasma - the fourth state of matter in addition to solids, liquids and gases - for a period of just 240 seconds, it was found that only one in a million viruses could still replicate - practically all were inactivated.
The study, published in IOP Publishing's Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, is one of the first to concentrate specifically on viruses and builds on research that has already shown the usefulness of plasma in eradicating bacteria from skin (http://www.iop.org/news/09/november/page_42357.html) and sterilising water (http://www.iop.org/news/11/nov/page_52641.html).
Within a hospital environment, a plasma generating device could realistically rid hands of potentially lethal viruses that relay on a host organism to replicate and spread. In the long-term, plasma could be inhaled directly to treat viruses in the lungs, or applied to blood outside of the body to remove any viruses before transfusion.
The researchers, from the Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik and Technische Universität München, specifically chose adenoviruses to examine as they are one of the most difficult viruses to inactivate. Illnesses resulting from this specific virus, for example, can only be managed by treating symptoms and complications of the infection, rather than targeting the actual virus itself.
Adenoviruses predominantly cause respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis and are hard to inactivate as the whole virus is encased in a protein layer, helping it to remain physically stable and tolerate moderate increases in heat and pH.
In this study, the adenoviruses were diluted to specific concentrations and then exposed to plasma for 240 seconds, before being incubated for an hour. A control group of adenoviruses were given the exact same treatment apart from the plasma exposure.
Two separate cell lines were then infected with the two sets of adenoviruses: the ones that were treated with plasma and the control group. To test whether a cell had the virus or not, the researchers programmed the virus to produce a protein that fluoresced green when a specific type of light was shone onto it.
Whilst the exact mechanisms behind the plasma's impressive effects are relatively unknown, it is thought that they are a result of a combination of reactions between the plasma and surrounding air, which create similar species to the ones found in our own immune system when under microbial attack.
Institute of Physics
Related Adenoviruses Current Events and Adenoviruses News Articles
Global infection outbreaks, unique diseases rising since 1980
Enterovirus. Tuberculosis. Cholera. Measles. Various strains of the flu and hepatitis.
Healthy humans make nice homes for viruses
The same viruses that make us sick can take up residence in and on the human body without provoking a sneeze, cough or other troublesome symptom, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Single mutation gives virus new target
A mutation as minute as swapping just one amino acid can completely change the target that a virus will bind to on a victim cell - potentially shifting what kind of cell and eventually what kind of organism a virus could infect.
Novel drug prevents common viral disease in stem-cell transplant patients, study finds
A new drug can often prevent a common, sometimes severe viral disease in patients receiving a transplant of donated blood-making stem cells, a clinical trial led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital indicates.
Adenoviruses may pose risk for monkey-to-human leap
Adenoviruses commonly infect humans, causing colds, flu-like symptoms and sometimes even death, but now UC San Francisco researchers have discovered that a new species of adenovirus can spread from primate to primate, and potentially from monkey to human.
Scientists Identify Promising Antiviral Compounds
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified two promising candidates for the development of drugs against human adenovirus, a cause of ailments ranging from colds to gastrointestinal disorders to pink eye.
Predicting the next eye pathogen; analysis of a novel adenovirus
The ongoing dance between a virus and its host distinctly shapes how the virus evolves. While human adenoviruses typically cause mild infections, recent reports have described newly characterized adenoviruses that can cause severe, sometime fatal, human infections.
New cancer 'vaccine' shows future promise in treating and preventing metastatic cancers
Preclinical, laboratory studies suggest a novel immunotherapy could potentially work like a vaccine against metastatic cancers, according to scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center.
High fever and evidence of a virus? Caution, it still may be Kawasaki disease
Clinicians should take caution when diagnosing a child who has a high fever and whose tests show evidence of adenovirus, and not assume the virus is responsible for Kawasaki-like symptoms.
Biologists Describe Details of New Mechanism for Molecular Interactions
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, with collaborators from Harvard University, the University of Madrid, Princeton University, and the University of Zurich, have discovered a new mechanism that may alter principle understandings of molecular interactions within a cell's nucleus.
More Adenoviruses Current Events and Adenoviruses News Articles