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Gene expression patterns in human blood cells exposed to common flu-like viruses and arenavirus

Viral infections are the main cause of disease in the world, with the respiratory diseases being the main cause of morbidity. The arenaviruses are zoonotic pathogens transmitted from rodents to humans, and are the cause of flu-like disease that can rapidly develop into fatal hemorrhagic fevers. The respiratory diseases and in particular those produced by arenaviruses, have similar prodromal phases. For this reason it is important to look for differences in gene expression during the early stages of disease and identify specific patterns that diagnose exposure to a specific pathogen. The common flu-like viruses we studied were flu A, PI3, rhinovirus 15, and RSV A2; and LCMV-Arm, LCMV-WE, Mop, Mop29). We compared the effects of different viral infections on gene expression in human PBMC. RNA form these cultures was isolated at 4, 8, and 24 hours after exposure to virus, and cDNAs were hybridized to custom microarrays bearing 9000 humans genes. Gene responses that were altered included the immune, cell adhesion, inflammatory, apoptotic, and antiviral pathways. Correlation of these genes with in vivo exposure provides the opportunity to identify diagnostic and therapeutic markers that may provide early indications of impending severe illness.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zapata, J., Mayda, M., Hammanieh, R. et al. Gene expression patterns in human blood cells exposed to common flu-like viruses and arenavirus. Retrovirology 3 (Suppl 1), S76 (2006).

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