Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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ERVs: link between intestinal microbiota and various diseases

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by natasa778, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. natasa778

    natasa778 Senior Member

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    I haven't been able to find a link to the full version, shame as sounds interesting - including the bit on the new data mining tool!
    http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1404381/

     
  2. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    We have here, once again, the odd hypothesis of recombination in the absence of any replication-competent retrovirus to start the process. Recombination which has been studied in the lab involves crossover between similar strands which are packaged together in a single virion. These probabilities are quite high for organisms with trillions of cells containing ERVs, even if the number of replication-competent retroviruses at the start is very small. Without any replication-competent virus at the start it is hard even to guess at probabilities that transcribed sequences will recombine into a replication-competent retrovirus which somehow inserts provirus in chromosomes.

    We have previously seen data on retroviruses in lung secretions thrown out on the grounds that this must be contamination by exogenous viruses which do not infect cells in the body, even if they are able to infect similar cells in vitro. Here we see similar reasoning involving microbiota of the gut. Both environments are patrolled by host immune cells which can then carry inserted provirus back through the bloodstream without having virions destroyed by antibodies. The hypothesis that a later breakdown in ability to hold the provirus latent in previously infected immune cells would result in precisely the recombinations and emergence of infectious virus specifically affecting immune response as described above must not be one that is even allowed to be considered.
     
  3. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    Ventura, CA
    So what would treatment consist of? Interesting study.
     
  4. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    Treatment is some distance off, we're still at the stage of recognizing the problem, but I could sketch out a couple of ideas.

    First, at early stages of some diseases suspected of such causes, it might be worthwhile to consider antiretroviral drugs. This has been happening piecemeal, but a more systematic approach, in diseases that show ERV activation, would make sense.

    Second, if the idea that the start of the process requires a replication-competent virus, already present in the host, pans out it would make sense to specifically target such infected cells while the number is small. There would be two problems: 1) most of these are latent, most of the time; 2) you would need a very narrow therapeutic target to avoid extensive damage to uninfected cells. The treatment would then consist of a means of provoking those latent infected cells to express the provirus in a way that would allow immune targeting, followed by a highly-specific targeted immune response, as we see in adoptive immunotherapy. (Where the patient's own immune cells are extracted, stimulated in vitro for a specific target, cultured into larger numbers, then returned at a rate the patient can tolerate.)

    Simply being able to test individuals to see which ones are most at risk, because they carry a latent infection, would be a great advance.

    It is still very early days to be talking about this. I'm just trying to show that it is possible to imagine treatments. Almost certainly, the methods worked out after more experience would be different, more efficient and less costly.
     
  5. Firestormm

    Firestormm

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    Cornwall England
    @anciendaze this was a doctoral thesis. So was there any study involved or is it likely to have been a discussion based on other studies? I am not familiar with such things. Thanks :)
     
  6. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

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    Firestormm, a PhD. dissertation must make a significant contribution to the state of the art to be accepted. I've seen some fairly amusing reasoning along those lines, but I do not think that is going on in this case. If you are thinking of studies on treatment of patients, that would be way down the line, but this is almost certainly based on considerably more than library research and speculation.

    We won't know until the full text is available. It appears release of this text is being withheld pending presentation or publication in another form.
     
    Firestormm likes this.
  7. Jon_Tradicionali

    Jon_Tradicionali Alone & Wandering

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    Zogor-Ndreaj, Shkodër, Albania
    That's the Million Dollar Question Martial.
     
  8. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    Ventura, CA

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