University of Texas study suggests hydrogen sulfide combats RSV infection

UTMB study suggests hydrogen sulfide fights RSV infection
UTMB study suggests hydrogen sulfide fights RSV infection | Courtesy of flickr.com
A recent study conducted by the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston suggests that hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a gas that is naturally produced within the human body, can decrease severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The study demonstrated that people with RSV infections are not as capable of producing the hydrogen sulfide and therefore have less protection against the virus.

RSV commonly causes upper and lower respiratory tract infections in young children. There is currently no vaccine or treatment for RSV or similar respiratory viral infections, which is why researchers are conducting studies to find solutions for the virus.

In the study, researchers from UTMB used a drug to induce a continuous release of the hydrogen sulfide. This decreases airway inflammation as well as the virus’s multiplication abilities.

Symptoms of RSV are similar to a cold infection, but people with weaker immune systems, such as infants, older adults and those with compromised immune systems, can become dangerously sick with RSV.

“This study shows that H2S can reduce viral replication and pro-inflammatory gene expression, both important components of lung injury in respiratory viral infections,” Dr. Antonella Casola, UTMB’s lead author and pediatric infectious diseases expert, said. “This treatment has the potential to help patients with RSV and can be rapidly translated into novel treatment approaches for viral bronchiolitis and pneumonia.”

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University of Texas Medical Branch

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