We learn new things every day! #biology

Article: http://jvi.asm.org/content/90/11/5292.short

A relatively new viral hemorrhagic fever syndrome, Severe fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS), caused by the SFTS virus, is an exciting area of new research. The SFTS virus is a recently-discovered bunyavirus with a high case fatality rate endemic to China, South Korea and Japan. Very little is known about this virus’s mechanisms for binding and entry into human cells, which is what this paper published in the Journal of Virology studied. This study used a pseudotype vesicular stomatitis virus with unmodified glycoproteins of SFTSV to study the virus entry into host cells. They concluded that the use of lysosomotropic agents indicated virus entry occurred through pH-dependent endocytosis, a very common viral entry mechanism. They found that a soluble oxysterol metabolite inhibited the cell entry and membrane fusion of the virus, and encouraged further research on this pathway for development of antiviral agents.
I found this article fascinating, since it highlights how little we know about this virus. We have discussed the epidemiology and policy factors of a lot of the viral hemorrhagic fevers in this class, but it is very interesting to delve deeper into the biological mechanisms of disease and how this sort of research can shed light on our management of disease.

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