Research could lead to more effective anti-viral therapies

(MGN Online)

Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine now have insight about what happens to a virus' shape when it invades a host cell.

This understanding could lead to more effective anti-viral therapies.

“Using these lab tricks, my lab and those of other researchers were able to create high-resolution structures of the altered virus particles, but all of these tricks were triggering the capsid from all directions,” Susan Hafenstein, assistant professor of medicine and microbiology and immunology, Penn State College of Medicine said in a release.

The virus used in the experiment was coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), which is a type of picornavirus, a family of small RNA viruses that rapidly mutate and cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to polio to pancreatitis.

RNA viruses includes HIV and change every time they replicate, often leading them to escape antiviral medications.

In the long run, these researchers hope to understand more about the steps in the virus life cycle.

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