Ebola Virus Update: New Study Shows It Attacks Immune System & Kills Patient
The science behind hampering the human body’s natural defense by the Ebola virus was recently unlocked by the University of Texas Medical Branch. Learn more about it, here.
The report is made to divulge the mechanism of the virus by first attacking the immune system and then accelerating the rate of infection in the body. The study was performed in association with The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the University of Washington.
How The Virus Kills Patients
Through extensive research, the scientists discovered that Ebola virus is highly strong in binding directly to white blood cells and this speedy process leads to the patient's death. “There are experimental Ebola vaccines and therapies being tested in clinical trials, but none have received final approval yet,” Alexander Bukreyev, the senior author and UTMB virologist in the departments of pathology and microbiology & immunology.
Bukreyev further said that it is highly important to understand how Ebola virus invades and veils the host’s immune system. This is a very important step in developing targeted therapies for Ebola virus disease, as reported by Science Daily.
Does The Virus Directly Impact The Lymphocytes – Detailed Research Required
Ebola is considered incapable to directly infect the white blood cells but still the patients die. Earlier, it was known to the scientists that the virus affects cells and passageways that are highly essential to the security of lymphocytes, which also includes a certain signaling pathway called TLR4.
The purpose of this study was to get the matter into details, whether Ebola is able to directly impact the lymphocytes or not. Through the study, the scientists also wanted to know the role of TLR4 (signaling pathway) in lymphocyte cell death when the virus attacks the host.
According to Newsweek, there are 29 suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola in the DR Congo, and reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) said that three patients have already died. A report also broke out in the last week that one suspected case of the virus appeared in South Sudan at the border of DR Congo.