Runny nose viruses depending on sugar metabolism

Runny nose viruses depending on sugar metabolism

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New knowledge and possible therapeutic approaches against runny nose

Rhinoviruses are mainly responsible for infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract such as runny nose. They are widespread and cause great economic damage due to the loss of workers. Despite their widespread occurrence, there is no effective treatment against the classic causative agent of runny nose. A Vienna research team has now gained new knowledge about the rhinoviruses. The viruses are apparently dependent on the sugar supply to the infected cells. Without this supply, no proliferation can take place.

A research team at MedUni Vienna has found that rhinoviruses, which are responsible for many viral colds, depend on the sugar metabolism of the cells they infect. So that they can reproduce strongly, they change the metabolism of the cells. The scientists were able to show that blocking the energy production in the infected cells led to a sharp reduction in virus replication. The study results were recently published in the specialist journal "PNAS".

The viruses do not have their own metabolism

"In the absence of an independent metabolism, viruses are dependent on the supply from their host cells," explains the lead author of the study Guido Gualdoni in a press release on the test results. The cell supply provides the building blocks for the rapid multiplication of the viruses.

Cold viruses as nutrient thieves

The Vienna scientists infected cells in the laboratory with the cold viruses (RV-B14) and documented the changes in their metabolism. "The RV infection was accompanied by a significant increase in sugar metabolism," the experts report. The viruses manipulated the metabolism of the cells. According to the researchers, this showed a decrease in the oxidation of fats. Instead, the production of fatty acids in the infected cell was stimulated and more nutrients from the cell's surroundings were used.

No reproduction without supply

In further investigations, the research team blocked the sugar metabolism of the infected cells and thus turned off the supply tap for the viruses. This had drastic consequences for the viruses, which were difficult to replicate as a result. However, the host cells themselves were not affected by the block. The scientific team concludes that the high-speed sugar metabolism of cells infected with rhinoviruses is particularly important for viral replication.

New drugs and therapy options

Recent research suggests that sugar metabolism could serve as a target for new and effective antiviral medicines for colds and colds. Because rhinoviruses are responsible for the vast majority of upper respiratory tract viral infections, such drugs could be of great interest. In addition, there is currently no effective therapy against these viruses, the researchers report.

What to do about flu infections

Those who are currently suffering from flu-like symptoms may have contracted summer flu. Rhino and corona viruses are primarily responsible for winter flu. Coxsackie, entero- or echo viruses are usually the cause of summer illness. If a new generation of antiviral drugs comes on the market, it will take a while. Until then, those affected still have to resort to classic means, such as:

  • Home remedies for flu,
  • Home remedies for colds,
  • effective home remedies for sore throat,
  • natural home remedies for cough,
  • Home remedies for inflammation of the nose.

Real flu can be dangerous

A real flu can be a serious illness. Only last winter 2017/18 a hard flu wave hit Germany and mass deaths. If the symptoms suddenly appear or do not go away after a few days, this must be clarified with a doctor. (vb)

Author and source information

Video: Community Acquired Pneumonia CAP Pediatrics. Lecturio (May 2022).


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