Why The Flu Virus Infects Mostly In Winter


US researchers have found a potential reason influenza virus is periodic and has a tendency to infect people mostly during the cold months. It features a jacket that touches

within the summer time resulting in the virus to die out, and stays hard during the cold months, until it makes its way into a number where it touches and will get to operate. The invention can lead to

new methods to prevent and treat influenza.

The findings are printed within the second March publication of the journal Nature Chemical Biology and therefore are the effect of a study transported out by senior

investigator and neuroscientist Joshua Zimmerberg and co-workers. Zimmerberg relies in the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biophysics (LCMB) within the

National Institute of kid Health insurance and Human Development (NICHD), in Bethesda, Maryland.

Zimmerberg and the team examined the dwelling from the influenza, and it is outer coat particularly, using nuclear magnetic resonance imaging.

The outer coat from the influenza, along with other respiratory system infections, are constructed with a fatty protein known as hemagglutinin that hardens in cold weather.

Zimmerberg told Reuters inside a telephone interview this was the “protein we make vaccines against”. Hemagglutinin is how the “H” in influenza names

originates from.

Once the virus makes its way into a hot host, the hemagglutinin coat touches, and also the virus will get to operate infecting cells.

Hemagglutinin likewise helps herpes to bind towards the target cell of their host, therefore the virus can fuse by using it and permit its contents to attack the host


Throughout the summer time, once the ambient temperatures are much greater, the hemagglutinin coat can’t stay hard and safeguard herpes, that is much more likely

to die before it may infect people.

“As an M&M inside your mouth, the protective cover touches if this makes its way into the respiratory system,” Zimmerberg told Reuters.

“It is just within this liquid phase the virus is capable of doing entering a cell to contaminate it,” he added.

Duane Alexander, NICHD Director, stated these results could suggest new methods to prevent and treat influenza by individuals hemagglutinin coat.

Researchers happen to be puzzled for a while about why infections such as the flu tend to be more prevalent in the winter months, speculating that possibly it is because people spend

additional time inside in limited conditions, or since the sun’s radiation kills more infections within the summer time. But none of them of those explanations is entirely


Infections can’t reproduce by themselves. They need to enter a full time income cell and hijack its sources, reprogramming the cell DNA to complete its putting in a bid. The brand new copies from the virus don their hemagglutinin jackets and get out of the cell in large figures.

The jacket hardens once the virus is shed through the warm host in to the cold, so in the winter months, they stay insulated and alive, growing the risk of infecting

another host.

The jacket doesn’t get hard all at one time, Zimmerberg stated they observed it solidifies gradually, from 40 levels Celsius (104 deg F) lower to 4 levels C

(39 deg F). He stated he and the co-workers believed it was the way the virus handled to remain alive over a variety of temps.

The scientists recommended that in the winter months it might be also harder to clean herpes off both hands because within the cold its difficult covering safeguards it against cleaning soap

and detergents.
“Progressive ordering with decreasing temperature of the phospholipids of influenza virus.”

Ivan V Polozov, Ludmila Bezrukov, Klaus Gawrisch & Joshua Zimmerberg.
Nature Chemical Biology, Published online: 02 March 2008.

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Sources: Nature Chemical Biology abstract, Reuters.