Human Para Influenza Viruses (HPIV)

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Human Para Influenza Viruses (HPIV)

Recently, scientists have discovered a new way to block the attachment of Human Para Influenza Viruses (HPIV).

Human Para Influenza Viruses

  • HPIV is a major cause of respiratory infections in childhood. Children often die from this, more than 30 – 40 percent of children suffering from this disease die.
  • HPIV injects genetic material into the cells by sticking to the cells. This is done so that the injected genetic material starts forming new viruses.
  • Scientists have now found a way to block this entry. This method is highly efficient in inhibiting HPIV-3.

How is HPIV blocked?

  • The virus uses special fusion proteins that resemble a three-sided corkscrew to enter human cells.
  • Cholesterol and beta-amino acids were previously found to be useful to block HPIV. However, they were not efficient. Scientists have now created a new peptide by combining cholesterol and beta-amino acids.
  • Gellman’s lab found that modified beta-amino acids containing peptides can block viruses.
  • Moscona Protto lab previously combined the peptide with a particle of cholesterol. This formed a smooth cell membrane, which had blocked the virus.
  • When the above two methods were mixed, the anti-viral effect tripled.

Peptides

  • Peptides are short chains of amino acids. They are associated with each other in a sequence of peptide bonds. They differ from short-length proteins. Peptides help the human body fight germs.

Influenza

  • Influenza is a type of virus that develops and reproduces within living cells.
  • ‘Viruses’ attack living cells and use their chemical machinery to keep themselves alive and prepare their replication.
  • Influenza flu is a highly contagious disease of our respiratory system. There are three types A, B, and C.
  • Of these, A and B cause influenza, while Type C also shows symptoms of the flu, but this type of flu is less frequent.
  • Influenza virus enters our body through the nose, eyes, and mouth. Also, it spreads from one person to another by coughing, sneezing, or being in contact with it.

Source – The Hindu

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