New virus behind kidney disease uncovered

Parvoviruses are extremely small viruses that are generally benign, except in immune-compromised individuals.

Published: 14th September 2018 05:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2018 05:13 PM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only.

By PTI

MELBOURNE: Scientists said Friday they have discovered a brand-new virus strain, which could change the way chronic and childhood kidney diseases are treated.

Researchers at the Centenary Institute in Australia noticed some immune-compromised laboratory mice were dying in middle-age, much earlier than their expected lifespan.

Further investigation revealed the mice were succumbing to kidney failure, according to the study published in the journal Cell.

Using leading-edge DNA sequencing technologies, the scientists, including those from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the US, were able to pinpoint the cause as an entirely new parvovirus.

Parvoviruses are extremely small viruses that are generally benign, except in immune-compromised individuals.

The researchers are currently looking at ways they can translate these findings into clinical practice to improve outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease.

"This virus is very widespread and has been affecting laboratory mice for 40 years or more, and we have good reason to suspect that both wild and laboratory mice unwittingly harbour it in their colonies," said Ben Roediger from Centenary Institute.

The discovery of this new strain of parvovirus has several important implications for human health, researchers said.

"This breakthrough provides new insight into virally-driven kidney disease, which is a major problem in kidney transplant patients," Roediger said.

"The virus itself appears to be highly specific to the kidney, which means we can potentially exploit its surface ('capsid') protein to develop gene therapies for inherited childhood kidney disease," he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Health news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp