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Other news - Friday, 21 October, 2016

Anatomy Department contributes to study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA

Dr Andras Nagy, lecturer of the Anatomy Department of our Medical School took part in a research with circadian rhythm scientists at the University of Cambridge.  The study found that virus replication in those mice infected at the very start of the day – equivalent to sunrise, when these nocturnal animals start their resting phase – was ten times greater than in mice infected ten hours into the day, when they are transitioning to their active phase.

“The time of day of infection can have a major influence on how susceptible we are to the disease, or at least on the viral replication, meaning that infection at the wrong time of day could cause a much more severe acute infection,” explains Professor Akhilesh Reddy, the study’s senior author. “This is consistent with recent studies which have shown that the time of day that the influenza vaccine is administered can influence how effectively it works.”

Importantly, the researchers found similar time-of-day variation in virus replication in individual cell cultures, without influence from our immune system, regarding both herpes and influenza A virus infection, a dissimilar type of virus – known as an RNA virus – that infects and replicates in a very different way to herpes. Dr Nagy`s contribution was the development of a new live cell microscopy method enabling to clarify that cell division itself is not the main cause of the rhythmic pattern seen in viral infection. The findings may help explain why shift workers, whose body clocks are routinely disrupted, are more prone to health problems, including infections and chronic disease (http://www.pnas.org/content/113/36/10085).

Dr Nagy is currently conducting his own research on cell cycle and redox regulations, while also contributing to Anatomy teaching at Cambridge University. A lecture about the study and about Dr Nagy`s experiences in Cambridge is scheduled for 29th November in Lecture Theatre II. of the Medical School, University of Pecs.  

The study results got significant public attention as being extensively reported in on-line media (e.g. BBC, TheGuardian, Telegraph).

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