Chronic viral infections have a profound and lasting impact on the immune system in a similar way to aging. Chronic inflammation that occurs as a result of immune system dysregulation is often seen in diseases associated with aging.
Examining different types of coronaviruses, researchers report the viral infections coexist in most winter seasons, although they exhibit structured seasonal patterns with some appearing to generate illnesses in the community at the same time. Others appear to circulate in their own unique patterns. Findings suggest SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, may find itself in competition with other seasonal coronaviruses and either struggle to persist in the longterm or may eliminate one or more seasonal coronavirus.
Researchers have identified a link between the immune system, viral infection and premature hair graying. The study reports mice who went prematurely gray produced unusually high amounts of MITF, a protein that is responsible for releasing interferons, which help to fight viral infections. This suggests genes responsible for controlling pigmentation also work to control the immune system.
A new study reports certain strains of the herpes virus are able to infect neurons and could underlie some symptoms of neurological disorders such as MS.
Immune system activation of the mother during pregnancy can disrupt neurodevelopment in her offspring, a new study shows.