Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
When Is It Time for a Knee Replacement?AHA News: Death Rates From Tears In This Major Heart Artery Are Rising, Especially Among Women, Black AdultsOmicron COVID Causing Severe Croup in Young Children'Zapping' Air Passages May Bring Relief for Severe AsthmaModerna Asks FDA to Approve Second Booster for All AdultsNew Tick-Borne Virus Is Spreading Across U.S.Memory Issues Plague Long COVID PatientsCOVID Vaccine Won't Cause Rare Neuro Events, But COVID Infection CouldIt Can Take Weeks for Some Patients With Severe COVID to Recover ConsciousnessOmicron Wave Had 5 Times as Many Small Kids Hospitalized Compared to DeltaPalliative Care Crucial After Severe Stroke, But Many Patients Miss OutMammograms Can Also Highlight Heart Risks: StudyPfizer Asks FDA to Approve Second Booster for SeniorsEven a Little Light in Your Bedroom Could Harm HealthRise in U.K. COVID Cases Closely Watched by U.S. Health OfficialsLong COVID May Bring Long-Term Lung DamageNew Malaria Treatment Gets First Approval for Use in ChildrenAbout 1 in 6 U.S. Couples Disagrees on COVID VaccinationCOVID Meds Appear to Work Against BA.2 Omicron VariantCould Depression Make Dry Eye Worse?When Will Americans With Diabetes Get Relief From High Insulin Prices?COVID's Global Death Toll May Be 3 Times Official NumbersDrug Could Be Non-Antibiotic Alternative to Treat UTIsFlu Vaccine No Match for Circulating Variants This SeasonLymphedema in Legs Strikes 1 in 3 Female Cancer SurvivorsScience Brings Shortcut to Spotting 50 Rare Genetic DiseasesU.S. Airplane, Train and Transit Mask Mandates Extended to April 18Man Who Received First Pig Heart Transplant Has DiedPfizer Begins Trial of COVID Drug Paxlovid in Kids 6 to 17Could a Stool Test Help Spot Pancreatic Cancer?Upcoming Surgery Worry You? Poll Says You're Not AloneHalf of Americans Live With Legacy of Childhood Lead PoisoningIn Reversal, WHO Now Supports COVID BoostersLooking to Neanderthals to Explain Today's Lower Back PainWhat's More Accurate, Blood Pressure Readings at Home or Doctor's Office?Begin Now to Protect Your Heart as Clocks 'Spring Forward'Brain Changes May Fuel 'Long COVID' Anxiety, ConfusionHow COVID-19 Can Change the BrainHeart Defects Could Raise Odds for Severe COVID-196 Healthy Steps to Preventing Colon CancerAHA News: These Three Risk Factors May Have the Biggest Impact on Dementia CasesU.S. Surgeon General Investigates COVID-19 MisinformationCould Your Blood Type Make COVID Worse?Implanted 'Drug Factory' Wipes Out Cancers in Mice -- Could It Help People?Immunization Against Common Infection of Babies Could Be NearTelemedicine Helped Many MS Patients During PandemicMore Years Playing Hockey, Higher Odds for CTE Linked to Head InjuryWhite House Unveils New COVID Response StrategyVariants of COVID Virus May 'Hide Out' in Body: StudyInfected People Gain Long-Lasting Immunity Against Coronavirus: Study
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Cancer
Men's Health
Women's Health

Variants of COVID Virus May 'Hide Out' in Body: Study


HealthDay News
Updated: Mar 2nd 2022

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- It looks like coronavirus variants can hide out in the human body much like some of their viral cousins do, making it hard for infected people to get rid of the virus entirely, researchers report.

Successive variants have appeared since the original version of SARS-CoV-2 triggered the global pandemic, and vaccines and antibody treatments have proven less effective against some of these variants.

“Our results showed that one can have several different virus variants in one’s body," said Kapil Gupta, a senior research associate in biochemistry at the University of Bristol in the U.K. "Some of these variants may use kidney or spleen cells as their niche to hide, while the body is busy defending against the dominant virus type. This could make it difficult for the infected patients to get rid of SARS-CoV-2 entirely."

Gupta is lead author of one of two new studies recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

The international team of researchers found that the virus can evolve distinctly in different cell types and adapt its immunity in the same infected person.

They focused on the function of a specific pocket in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and concluded that it plays an essential role in the virus' ability to spread.

“An incessant series of variants have completely replaced the original virus by now, with Omicron and Omicron 2 dominating worldwide,” said team leader Imre Berger, a professor of biochemistry at University of Bristol.

Researchers analyzed an early variant discovered in Bristol dubbed BrisDelta.

“It had changed its shape from the original virus, but the pocket we had discovered was there, unaltered," Berger explained.

BrisDelta represents a small subpopulation in samples from COVID patients, but it appears to infect certain cell-types better than the virus that dominated the first wave, researchers noted.

In a related study, researchers created synthetic, safe versions of the virus (virions) to determine how the pocket drives infection. They found that the spike protein on the virus changes shape after binding with a fatty acid. This makes it less visible to the immune system.

“It appears that this pocket, specifically built to recognize these fatty acids, gives SARS-CoV-2 an advantage inside the body of infected people, allowing it to multiply so fast," said study author Oskar Staufer. "This could explain why it is there, in all variants, including Omicron.”

Staufer is a joint member of the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Max Planck Center in Bristol, U.K.

“Intriguingly, the same feature also provides us with a unique opportunity to defeat the virus, exactly because it is so conserved — with a tailor-made antiviral molecule that blocks the pocket,” he added.

A company founded by the researchers is working to develop antiviral drugs that target the pocket.

More information

For more on COVID-19 variants, go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


SOURCE: University of Bristol, news release, March 1, 2022




Facebook

Amazon Smile

 

Children and Adult services are available now with no wait time.  

Please contact HBH at 860-548-0101, option 2.

 


powered by centersite dot net