"How Flu Viruses Hijack Human Cells Discovered" - Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Much is known about flu viruses, but little is understood about how they reproduce inside human host cells, spreading infection. Now, a research team headed by investigators from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is the first to identify a mechanism by which influenza A, a family of pathogens that includes the most deadly strains of flu worldwide, hijacks cellular machinery to replicate. "This study shows how we can discover genes linked to disease – in this case, neurodegeneration – by looking at the natural symbiosis between a host and a pathogen," said the study's senior investigator, Ivan Marazzi, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Influenza A is responsible in part not only for seasonal flus but also pandemics such as H1N1 and other flus that cross from mammals (such as swine) or birds into humans. "We are all a result of co-evolution with viruses, bacteria, and other microbes, but when this process is interrupted, which we call the broken symmetry hypothesis, disease can result," Dr. Marazzi said.
- Ivan Marazzi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai