Long Covid: In Search of the Triggers March 16, 2021 - Prusty


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Attack on the power plants of the cells
As Prusty and other scientists have shown in the past, the virus often integrates into the human genome. Contrary to the prevailing opinion, it does not necessarily stop its activities permanently. Certain factors can reactivate it - for example, an additional infection with chlamydia or drugs that suppress the immune system - as Prusty's work shows.

Then HHV-6 attacks the cell's power stations, the mitochondria, causing malfunctions there. Affected mitochondria produce less ATP - energy suppliers in the human body - and show strong fluctuations in their calcium balance. It is quite possible that an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus will cause the herpes viruses to become active again.

A closer look at the processes in the cells
"We here in Würzburg have a special working model to work on both long covid and myalgic encephalomyelitis," explains Bhupesh Prusty. With the help of special techniques and processes, Prusty and his group can take a closer look inside individual cells and decipher in detail which genes are activated at which point in time and which processes they set in motion. "In this way, we will be able to better understand how pathogens, particularly herpes viruses like HHV-6, modify specific human cells, including immune cells, to cause these diseases," says Prusty.