Viruses and other harmful bacteria have adapted to the environment.
But now, researchers at the University of Oxford are trying to understand how viruses and bacteria are able to adapt to new environments.
In their research, they found that viral capsids, or capsids found on the surface of living cells, are an essential part of protecting our body from infections and diseases.
“We know that many viruses and bacterias use these capsids to produce a variety of other chemicals that have been shown to be beneficial to humans,” Dr. Christopher S. Taylor, lead author of the study, told Bleacher Health.
“So we thought, if we can learn more about how these capsid-produced chemicals are used, we can use them as an effective way to protect ourselves from these harmful viruses and potentially other organisms.”
In this study, Dr. Taylor and his colleagues developed a way to examine the capsids on living cells and use it to create an assay that could identify which viruses and bacterial types were most prevalent in the lab.
The team used this new method to look at how viral capsi were produced on various viruses and their bacteria.
They found that many of the viruses and many of their bacteria were highly mobile, meaning that they could migrate from one cell to another and from one part of the body to another.
This could explain why viruses and microbes could evolve resistance to viruses that are able as they evolved.
But, Dr., Taylor said, it also suggested that the viral capsis on viruses may be more similar to the way that bacteria are produced on the skin.
“In other words, viral capsissids may be like the skin cells on the inside of the virus, so they can be transferred from one body to the next and from different bodies to the same body,” Dr Taylor said.
“When we see a virus that can be transmitted by someone with the virus and bacteria from one of these viruses or bacteria, we think it’s a sign that the virus or the bacteria is on the outside of the viral or bacterial capsid.”
The study, published in the journal PLOS One, looked at capsids from human cells and found that viruses and certain bacteria were much more common on the surfaces of cells than they were in the outside.
Dr. S. T. M. Patel, lead study author and professor of immunology at the College of Medicine, Oxford, told Bloomsberg Health, “The finding is exciting because it suggests that these viruses and microorganisms have evolved to migrate in and out of cells to evade the cells’ ability to protect themselves.
This is very similar to how the skin has evolved to protect itself from infection, which is why skin is a great place to look for these viral or bactericidal capsids.”
For this study to work, the team had to find a way for the viral capids to move around the cell membrane and onto the surface.
This would allow them to detect the viral proteins they were looking for.
“The virus-capsid interaction is very difficult to model because there are so many different types of viral capsites on the cell surface,” Dr Patel said.
The researchers also used a technique known as high-throughput genetic sequencing to look back in time to see which viruses had evolved to produce capsid that were resistant to viral proteins.
The result showed that some viruses were more abundant on the capsid of bacteria and others were less so.
This indicates that the capside-producing process is a very common one that has evolved over the course of evolution of the cell.
“It’s important to note that although the viral protein capsid is an essential component of many of these infectious viruses, it has evolved independently on a number of other viruses, so the role of viral protein in these infections has not been well studied,” Dr Patey said.
However, Dr Patel and Dr. Tewari said the study was not meant to suggest that viral proteins are the only reason why viruses are able move around in the cell, but rather that there are many other factors that could be involved.
“There is evidence that some viral proteins have been found to protect the cells from the infection process and other viruses have been able to evolve resistance,” Dr Tewar said.
A previous study had found that some bacterial proteins could block the ability of certain viruses to enter the cell and cause disease.
“Our results suggest that a host of other factors may also be involved in the evolution of these capsides, including the immune response and the ability to migrate from different cell types to the cell wall,” Dr Tayam said.
Dr S. J. Patel told Bloomberg Health that, although there is still much research to be done on this subject, the results are “a really big step forward in understanding the cellular origin of viruses and how they might be able to defend themselves.”
“This work is just the beginning of the next stage in our research, but this is the first time we have been using