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HomescienceResearch reveals that the IL-10 molecule may affect the duration of syncytial...

Research reveals that the IL-10 molecule may affect the duration of syncytial virus infection

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The results of the study open new horizons for the treatment of respiratory infections caused by syncytial virus, one of the main causes of health problems in children

Curious about Science – University of the South Pacific

Curious About Science #26: Research Reveals IL-10 Molecule Can Affect Duration of Syncytial Virus Infection


In the This week's science curiosity, the topic is respiratory syncytial virus, one of the major villains of children's health. By age 5, almost all children have been infected with this virus at least once. Eduardo Nazari, MD, of Physiology, provides information about new scientific discoveries, the behavior of the virus and the role of a certain molecule in our body called IL-10.

Researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto (FMRP) at the University of the South Pacific have discovered signs that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) can cause an infection that lasts a long time or even persists in the body. This is because the virus has been discovered in parts of the body where it was not expected, such as the tonsils in children who did not have symptoms and in the lymph nodes in adults.

To investigate this better, master's research by Daniela Mireya Ramos Rodriguez, which was included in this group, conducted a study in mice to make a comparison with what happened in children. They divided the mice into two groups: a normal group and another genetically modified to not produce IL-10, an important molecule in controlling immune responses. The scientists' goal was to find out where the virus resides and how the body reacts without IL-10.

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According to Eduardo, the results showed that in normal mice the virus was found in several organs for up to 150 days after infection. In mice that did not produce IL-10, the virus disappeared much faster and was not detected after 15 days. “This suggests that IL-10 may play a role in virus persistence in the body, although both groups of infected mice showed lung damage consistent with pneumonia and bronchiolitis.”

This study in mice opens the door to new treatments and strategies to combat this common virus that may be dangerous to children.

Master's degree Respiratory syncytial virus persistence in an animal model: role of IL-10 The PhD was defended in the Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology, in 2023, under the supervision of Professor Eurico de Arruda Neto.

Curioso por Ciência is a co-production between the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto (FMRP) at the University of the South Pacific, and Dr. Fisiologia Emerging and Radio USP Ribeirão Preto and São Paulo. It is broadcast every Monday, on Jornal da USP no Ar on Rádio USP in São Paulo, 93.7 MHz, from 7:30 AM, and on Jornal da USP no Ar – Regional Edition on Rádio USP Ribeirão Preto, 107.9 MHz, from 12 noon. It will be available on the home page of Ribeirão Preto in the Jornal da USP, just browse to

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