Science evolves to our amazement and it seems that any virus that humans ever contacted throughout their lifetime can be revealed by a single drop of blood. The test is still in its experiment phase and is set to be an important research tool for tracking particular patterns of disease in various populations.
This way, scientists can compare the young and the old or people in different parts of the world. It can also be used to discover details about the immune response of the body to certain virus patterns, thus uncovering the way in which the body’s immune system responds to them in such a way that cancer and other chronic diseases appear.
Medicine makes serious steps forward, in order to perform and develop more relevant treatments to fight diseases that now have their way of spreading quickly and making large number of victims everywhere in the world. Cancer is such a case and by analyzing its root causes, researchers and scientists might be able to develop a more efficient treatment.
The applications of this simple blood test that can be performed for no less than $25 and its implications are priceless, as scientists enthusiastically declare. It’s impressive how a single drop of blood can detect past exposure to more than 1.000 strain viruses from 206 species, namely the entire human “virome”.
This is how it works: when our body is infected by a virus, our immune system starts working and fighting while immune cells begin to respond by producing antibodies that try to neutralize the foreign body carrying diseases. The antibodies are the soldiers that bind to specific proteins on the surface of the virus and try to eat it alive. These body responses continue to be made long after the virus disappears from our bodies, staying activated in case the virus fights back.
Scientists concluded that their presence acts as something called a viral footprint, something that remains and tells us that certain bacteria was once in the bloodstream. They test whether someone has once been infected by exposing their blood to a viral protein, to see if the antibodies recognize and target it. This way, it can be revealed if previous infections with that certain type of virus have once been present in the human body.
The study was performed with a help of a library of peptides, namely short chains of amino acids that derive from viruses, allowing researchers to define and find proof of existence for more than 1000 viral strains.
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