Sydney: Adenoviruses that can cause respiratory, eye, and intestinal tract infections, must adopt the cellular machinery of infected organisms to produce more of their own, scientists suggest.

Scientists from Chinese and Australian universities have found a way to disrupt the hijacking process by using plasma to damage the viruses before they come into contact with host cells.
 
The research led by Z. Xiong and X. Lu (HuaZhong University of Science and Technology, China) and K. Ostrikov (University of Sydney, Australia), prepared solutions containing adenoviruses.
 
They then subjected the samples with a low-temperature plasma, a highly energized state of matter which is created by applying a voltage to a gaseous mixture in a syringe, the journal Applied Physics Letters reported.
 
The plasma damaged the viral DNA. When the virus solutions were later added to colonies of embryonic kidney cells, plasma-treated samples showed much less viral activity, a university statement said.
 
If the virus solution was covered during treatment to maximize plasma-virus interactions, more than 99 percent of the viruses could be deactivated in eight minutes.

(Agencies)