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Viruses Are Early Birds • Mirror Daily

This is how viruses look like under the microscope

(Mirror Daily, United States) Sometimes we get long-term colds, and other times we recover very quickly after colds. British specialists have the scientific explanation of why this is happening: it seems that viruses are early birds. This means that they are stronger in the morning and weaker at other times of the day.

The new research was carried out in Cambridge, England. The researchers prove it that viruses attack in the morning and the infections are more efficient, as our organism is more prone to the disease. Another implication of the study is that the time of the administration of the vaccine is also crucial.

The study was based on experiments with mice, which have been deliberately infected with viruses triggering influenza. Since timeline was so important for the research, the mice were also kept in an environment that simulated for them the night and day cycle. It seems that, when resting, the organism is more vulnerable to infection, and if exposed to viruses, then viruses win.

The behavior of both the viruses and the mice leads researchers to believe that people who change the usual program (sleeping during the day, working at night-time) are more prone to get infections, such as influenza. The same tests show that in winter viruses are stronger, as well as when seasons change.

Dr. Akhilesh Reddy (University of Cambridge) said in a statement:

“Given that our body clocks appear to play a role in defending us from invading pathogens, their molecular machinery may offer a new, universal drug target to help fight infection.”

He also explained to BBC the following:

“The virus needs all the apparatus available at the right time, otherwise it might not ever get off the ground, but a tiny infection in the morning might perpetuate faster and take over the body.”

When putting the data into percentages, the specialists found that viruses are 10 times more effective in the morning, compared to other times of the day.

Professor Akhilesh Reddy highlights the importance of the study:

“In a pandemic, staying in during the daytime could be quite important and save people’s lives – it could have a big impact if trials bear it out.”

The study, called “Cell autonomous regulation of herpes and influenza virus infection by the circadian clock”,  was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, on August 17.

Image courtesy of: Wikipedia

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