Cytomegalovirus- The Other Side of the Story

Cytomegalovirus or commonly referred to as CMV is a member of the Herpes virus. It can commonly affect anyone. Though people suffering from Aids stand with a higher chance of being diagnosed with CMV. The virus can start to replicate in a person’s body if there has been an exchange of fluids through sexual intercourse or other means.

According to Harrison’s Principle of Internal Medicine, Bone Marrow Transplant has become one frequent way through which this virus is transported.

Common symptoms of Cytomegalovirus as reported by Harvard Medical School include a sore throat, fatigue, long period of fever, muscle pain with other minor symptoms. Although recently, it has also become a major cause of blindness among people.

A lot of studies has been put into understanding this virus and to arrive at the decision whether CMV can be classified as a harmless virus or not. Medical Scientists agree on the fact that the virus is unlikely to be a major concern for healthy people with a strong immune system.

Although the virus may last in the patient’s body forever, it might not intensify the medical conditions known to be caused by it. Alternatively, it might boost the patient’s immune system providing a stronger defense mechanism against a lot of the caused complications.

To back up the above-mentioned hypothesis, an experiment was conducted by Dr. Nikolich Zugich where several mice, with the CMV virus in their body, were tested and compared with healthy mice. The two types of mice were then infected with Listeria, a bacteria that commonly causes fever and diarrhea. The purpose of conducting this research was to examine whether the mice with CMV in their body would be able to defend themselves more efficiently than the younger healthy mice or not.

The results appeared to be utterly shocking for Dr. Nikolich who initially thought that the mice with CMV  would be unable to defend themselves from Listeria. Though the functioning of the immune system gets weakened with age, the results proved otherwise. Mice infected with CMV were able to develop a strong immune system actively protecting itself from the infected bacteria.

To understand why that was the case, medical scientists are still in the process of finding an accurate explanation. However, Dr Nikolich has come up with a probable reason. He found out that CMV virus caused T cells to multiply. T cells or T-lymphocyte are classified as white-blood cells in charge of defending the body from outside pathogens and bacteria by secreting antibodies. Thereby, CMV stimulated the reproduction of T cells that was similarly the case for the healthy mice.

Apart from that, there was another extensive research done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information to find the relationship between Cytomegalovirus and immunity. The findings showed that the presence of CMV in a person’s body can act as a robust defense against influenza by improving immunity.

The purpose of this research paper was to bring into discussion the controversy surrounding the Cytomegalovirus. Known to affect a large chunk of the population which includes newborns as well, scientific discoveries have proved that there remains significantly a close relationship between this virus and strengthening of the immune system. Though immunity of a person knowingly decreases with age, CMV can stimulate the replication of T cells which can counter this problem.

To make a final judgment regarding CMV and the benefits that it entails, would be difficult at this point. Medical scientists throughout the world are extensively pursuing research on this issue and are coming up with various theories to strengthen their research. However, Cytomegalovirus may not be as dangerous as it has commonly known to be.



Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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