HZI researchers have uncovered how a cancer-causing virus specifically targets a protein of its host to successfully establish infection
Humans are constantly exposed to pathogens like bacteria and viruses. In most cases, the immune system successfully detects and eliminates these invaders. However, the herpesvirus family has adapted brilliantly to the immune system: its members manage to stay in the host’s body for life after infection. A research team at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) recently discovered that a protein of the carcinogenic Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) commandeers an immune system component for its own benefit. This enables the virus to successfully infect its host. The researchers have published their results in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Pathogens.