Mystery mutation: CCMB study helps understand infection-less fevers

The key protein in the mutant gene of the receptor in the immune system causing inflammation and fever due to cold temperature, has been identified as HSC70.

Published: 12th October 2019 05:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2019 05:41 AM   |  A+A-

H1N1 virus

H1N1 virus

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Findings of a study conducted at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad may help unravel the reason behind some people acquiring fever even in the absence of exposure to bacterial or viral infections.

Fever is usually a reaction of the human body when there is some bacterial or viral infections. The human body’s immune system has receptors to detect proteins of pathogenic microorganisms that gain entry into it. Whenever this happens, the cells secrete a substance called cytokines, which cause inflammation and fever.

However, some people develop fever even when they are not suffering from any infection and are simply exposed to cold weather conditions. This may be due to various health disorders and one such disorder is the Familial Cold Autoinflammatory Syndrome (FCAS), wherein people suffering from the disorder develop fever when they are exposed to below-normal temperatures.

A team of scientists from the CCMB, led by Dr Ghanshyam Swarup and Dr Vegesna Radha, conducted a study as to why people suffering from FCAS develop fever whenever they are exposed to cold temperatures. For the first time they have unravelled the mechanism of cold-induced inflammation and fever, caused by a mutation in the receptor of the immune system.

The key protein in the mutant gene of the receptor in the immune system causing inflammation and fever due to cold temperature has been identified as HSC70. The HSC70 protein is known for undergoing changes with respect to changes in temperature. The findings have been published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, USA.

This finding by CCMB scientists is likely to have wider implications when tackling other health disorders like the FCAS, where people suffer from fever when exposed to cold temperatures. Their findings could help devise treatment or developing drugs to cure such disorders.

Impact of study
Fever is usually a reaction of the human body when there is some bacterial or viral infections. However, some people develop fever even when they are not suffering from any infection and are simply exposed to cold weather conditions. The study could help treat and develop drugs to cure such disorders

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