Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Rotavirus & Its Effect on Interferon Production

New research on rotavirus infection shows that rotaviruses may alter the epithelial’s immune response to evade the immune system.  They do this by altering the expression and presence of interferon (IFN I & III), cytokines that act as the body’s antivirals, in the intestinal epithelium.  When live rotavirus is introduced to culture (called a human intestinal enteroid - HIE - that, for the most part, acts like a normal functioning intestine), IFN I was not produced and neither was IFN III even though the genes expressing IFN III were functioning.  But, when inactivated virus was introduced IFN III was produced normally and could be found in the culture.  What this suggests is that rotavirus in some way inhibits IFN I and the translation of IFN III.  Furthermore, the researchers found that by “Adding type I IFN to the HIE cultures with live rotavirus [it] reduced viral replication more efficiently than adding type III IFN.”  

- Devon

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