The discovery of the first hybrid virus from influenza A / RSV

The lungs are in danger

Robert Clatt

Hybrid influenza A virus and RSV

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  • The researchers happened to have one Hybrid influenza A and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) Discover
  • By merging the two viruses, Influenza virus surface proteins RSV use, therefore it Bypassing the immune system And the Penetrates deeper into the lungs from the seasonal influenza virus
  • She can The course of the disease is more severe Come

The newly discovered hybrid of influenza A and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can penetrate deeper into the lungs and cause much worse illnesses than the seasonal influenza virus.


Glasgow (Scotland). Scholars University of Glasgow A completely new hybrid virus was accidentally discovered during a lab experiment. The team, led by Pablo Murcia and Joan Haney of the Center for Virus Research, wanted the interaction between Viruses analysis. According to what was published in the specialized magazine Nature Microbiology They infected human lung cells with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza A. Lung cells, each infected with only one virus, served as a control group.


The researchers were then able to detect thread-like structures under the microscope, which were a hybrid of influenza A and RSV. How does Murcia compare to that guardian I mentioned that such a hybrid virus was not previously known.

This type of hybrid virus has not been described before. They are viruses from two completely different families that fuse with the genomes and exogenous proteins of both viruses. It is a new type of viral pathogen.”


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Influenza A uses the surface proteins of the respiratory syncytial virus

In the hybrid virus, the influenza A pathogen uses RSV surface proteins. This allows influenza A particles to bypass the immune system and penetrate the human body more easily. The fusion of the two influenza A viruses allows it to infect a greater number of human cells. Therefore, influenza A can also spread to cells that do not have influenza receptors and thus penetrate deeper into the airways and lungs.

RSV loses repeatability

In contrast, RSV is the loser in the hybrid virus because its ability to replicate is severely impaired by influenza A particles.


Therefore, according to scientists, the main danger of the hybrid virus is that it can penetrate deeper into the lungs than the seasonal virus. Grapevirus. This greatly increases the risk of developing serious diseases. The authors also explain that a laboratory experiment is of limited value because it “cannot capture the full spatial and physiological complexity of the entire respiratory tract”.

Parallel infections warning

The researchers see their discovery as “another reason not to be infected with many viruses”. They think it is conceivable that there are other hybrid viruses medicine not yet discovered. Therefore, virologist Joanne Haney is of the opinion that parallel infections with many viruses should be better investigated.

Respiratory viruses exist as part of a community of many viruses, all of which target the same area of ​​the body, such as the environment. We need to understand how these infections interact in order to get a fuller picture of the biology of each individual virus.”

Nature Microbiology, doi: 10.1038/s41564-022-01242-5

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