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|February 26, 2017|
New mechanism to control human viral infections discovered
RIVERSIDE - (INT) - A team of researchers has found a long-sought-after mechanism in human cells that creates immunity to influenza A virus, which causes annual seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics.
The research, outlined in a paper published online in the journal Nature Microbiology, could have broad implications on the immunological understanding of human diseases caused by RNA viruses including influenza, Ebola, West Nile, and Zika viruses.
“This opens up a new way to understand how humans respond to viral infections and develop new methods to control viral infections,” said Shou-Wei Ding, a professor of plant pathology and microbiology at UC Riverside, who is the co-corresponding author of the paper.
The findings build on more than 20 years of research by Ding.
His initial research showed that RNAi is a common antiviral defense in plants, insects and nematodes and that viral infections in these organisms require active suppression of RNAi by specific viral proteins. That work led him to study RNAi as an antiviral defense in mammals.
Story Date: January 26, 2017