Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Study shows Epstein-Barr virus can infect human neurons

A new study has found that two human herpesviruses: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), previously only proven to infect B cells, can also infect neurons.

For years there has been indirect evidence that gammaherpesviruses
like EBV and KSHV could infect nervous tissue. For example, EBV viruses
have been found in the cerebrospinal fluid and brain tissue of patients
with Alzheimer’s multiple sclerosis. EBV has also been tied to an
increased risk of developing MS.

Researchers tagged EBV and KSHV with green fluorescent protein (GFP)
and observed them infecting neuroblastoma cells (neurons derived from a
cancer cell line) in vitro. These findings offer further
evidence that these viruses may be associated with the neurological
pathologies involved in these diseases.

The researchers also found that acyclovir was effective at inhibiting the production of virus from neuronal cells.

EBV has also been associated with an increased risk of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Study shows Epstein-Barr virus can infect human neurons

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