About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Genetic Mutation Increases Susceptibility to Viral Brain Infection

by Anjali Aryamvally on February 23, 2018 at 11:28 AM
Font : A-A+

Genetic Mutation Increases Susceptibility to Viral Brain Infection

Mutations identified in a single gene explains why only some people who are exposed to common viruses like herpes simplex or influenza will develop a potentially deadly disease called encephalitis.

For previously healthy children, brain infections are rare. But about one out of every 10,000 people who are exposed to these viruses develop encephalitis.

Advertisement


Rockefeller's Jean-Laurent Casanova has identified mutations in a single gene that may explain what goes wrong in cases of encephalitis of the brain stem, the part of the brain that controls many basic functions including heart rate and breathing. Shen-Ying Zhang, assistant professor of clinical investigation in the Casanova lab, evaluated seven children from unrelated families who had been exposed to a common virus (herpes simplex virus 1, influenza virus, or norovirus) and developed a life-threatening or lethal infection of the brain stem. The scientists discovered mutations in a gene called DBR1, which is responsible for producing a protein that helps process the loops formed in RNA during a step called mRNA splicing. Without it, immunity to viruses is selectively impaired in the brain stem. Casanova's experiments, published in Cell, point to an almost complete loss of DBR1 as the culprit, enabling brain stem virus invasion in all seven patients. The findings also reveal an unexpected connection between an RNA processing mechanism and protective immunity in a specific region of the brain.

The study is a new example of the Casanova lab's ongoing work to identify mutations that underlie infectious diseases in otherwise healthy individuals. Previous work has found genetic factors that cause increased vulnerability to staph infections, the flu, and fungal infections, among others.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Genetics and Stem Cells Genetic Testing of Diseases Brain Flu Brain Facts Ataxia Crigler-Najjar Syndrome Gilbertís Syndrome 

Recommended Reading
Encephalitis
Encephalitis is the inflammation of the brain, mostly caused by viruses. Though rare, it is a ......
What You Should Know about Japanese Encephalitis
Japanese encephalitis is a mosquito borne viral disease associated with inflammation of the brain....
Auto-immune Encephalitis as Common as Infectious Encephalitis
Encephalitis caused by the immune system attacking the brain is similar in frequency to ......
Vaccination Drive May Help Combat Japanese Encephalitis
To combat Japanese Encephalitis, vaccination campaign will be launched in 13 districts of Odisha. .....
Ataxia
Ataxia affects coordination. Gait becomes unstable and the patient loses balance. The cerebellum or ...
Crigler-Najjar Syndrome
Crigler-Najjar syndrome arises due to the lack or deficiency of the enzyme uridine diphosphate glucu...
Genetic Testing of Diseases
Genetic testing helps to confirm a genetic condition in an individual and involves q complex laborat...
Gilbertís Syndrome
Gilbertís syndrome is a common, mild liver disease in which a liver enzyme required to process bilir...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsonís disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use