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Human host genetic mutation helps explain why, in rare cases, flu can kill

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  • Human host genetic mutation helps explain why, in rare cases, flu can kill



    Genetic mutation helps explain why, in rare cases, flu can kill

    March 26, 2015 | Science News
    Nobody likes getting the flu, but for some people, fluids and rest aren’t enough. A small number of children who catch the influenza virus fall so ill they end up in the hospital — perhaps needing ventilators to breathe — even while their family and friends recover easily. New research by Rockefeller University scientists, published March 26 in Science, helps explain why: a rare genetic mutation.
    The researchers scrutinized blood and tissue samples from a young girl who, at the age of two-and-a-half, developed acute respiratory distress syndrome after catching the flu, and ended up fighting for her life in the hospital. Years after her ordeal, which she survived, scientists led by Jean-Laurent Casanova discovered that it could be explained by a rare mutation she carries that prevented her from producing a protein, interferon, that helps fight off the virus.
    “This is the first example of a common, isolated and life-threatening infection of childhood that is shown to be also a genetic disease,” says Casanova. The good news from these results, however, is that clinicians have a new treatment option for children who mysteriously develop severe cases of the flu. “This finding suggests that one could treat severe flu of childhood with interferon, which is commercially available,” says Casanova, who is professor and head of the St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Disease at Rockefeller, as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.
    The fact that a child’s genes could affect the severity of her illness wasn’t a surprise to the members of Casanova’s lab, who have been studying this phenomenon for decades. For instance, they have discovered genetic differences that help explain why the herpes simplex virus — which causes innocuous cold sores in most people — can, in rare cases, lead to potentially fatal infections that spread to the brain...

    Original paper linked here: https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/...rf7-deficiency
    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
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