FLU, Respiratory Tract, Nicole Bouvier discussed on The Naked Scientists


Listen. have you loud and clear? Signed and that is to say is medicine nature. I brain. The. How this is the naked scientists the show that keeps you in touch with the latest science technology medicine on Christmas and I'm Eva Higginbotham this week will the traditional English country garden become a victim of climate change will pests, diseases surge, and how will flowers and food crops and the pollinators that make them productive be effected Plus News of how dust and dandruff conspired flu and the viruses the chemical fingerprint that covid nineteen leaves on your body and self driving cars looking set to take to the road. But when. The naked scientists podcast is powered by UK fast, dot. Co Dot UK. Across the world covid nineteen is making a comeback. Boris Johnson's dubbed a second wave and the WHO have suggested that people dropping their God together with the relaxation of public health measures in many countries is translating into a surge in cases. France is seeing nearly four thousand daily cases and across Europe as a whole, the total is closed at twenty, six thousand people testing positive each day. Now, as a result of all of that people are trying to learn as much. As possible about the manner in which Corona, Vars and other respiratory infections spread so far lot of emphasis has been placed onerous spirit tree droplets, blobs of moisture that come out of the Airways when we breathe and talk and they can contain virus particles and people are wearing face coverings and they their hands to try to ward off that risk. But I school, of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York Nicole Bouvier has been testing how flu spreads among Guinea Pigs not the. Humans the Rodent fraud and she's found that respiratory droplets are indeed important but the viruses can also cling to other things which can be even more numerous as well. When humans either talk or cough or sneeze there's all kinds of microscopic particles that come out of your respiratory tract droplets of pure water proteins, bits, and pieces of dead cells most of which is is invisible. So we don't really think about it but but it's there. So presumably, Guinea pigs were doing. The same thing, and we wanted to know what exactly is coming out of them when they are infected with flu and putting flew out into the air how did you do the experiments? We put the Guinea pigs in a special cage that had a fine air filter that prevents know stuff from the environment coming in, and then we have the other side of the cage hooked up to an aerodynamic particle size or an APS and that's that's basically just a machine can. Not only count microscopic particles that can tell you how big they are, and what we're finding is that there were. Thousands of particles per second every time to get a big moved there was this big poof of particles that were being detected six to us that actually the particles coming out of the cage where associated with movement and that's when we started thinking. Well, maybe this isn't just what's coming out of the respiratory tracts, but it's just dust. So these are guinea pigs for Dandruff is that BICYC-? Well. Yeah. You know eight they are dandruff animals but so are we I mean humans slough billions of skin cells off every day but flu viruses don't grow in the skin lake grow in the nose and throat. So why is this this Dander? Another particulate matter does coming off the Guinea pigs relevant. So. What we did is we took a game egg and we infected with influenza virus, and then we put the guinea pigs in a cage and we sampled virus from the cage and from the animal's body we just took a cotton swab and dipped it in saline and swab the animals, ears in their paws and there for and the sides, the cage, and we were able to actually grow. A lot of viable flu virus from these swaps and that indicated to us that the virus was actually being spread all over itself and its environment and it kind of makes sense when you think about what you're doing all day long, which is brimming themselves and and sniffling around it makes sense that virus from their noses could be getting all over the place. Does that mean then that because? There's virus on things other than droplets coming out of the nose and throat that could be infectious to exactly. We also did some measurements where we were trying to measure exactly what was coming out just the Guinea pigs respiratory tract and what we found was that the amount of particles coming out of their respiratory tract was just orders of magnitude smaller than what was coming out of the cage when. It was sort of a wake in moving around, and so it seemed reasonable to think that maybe some of these particles from the environment that if they were contaminated with flu virus might actually be transporting the virus through the air to the they susceptible Guinea pig next door and could you infect other animals if you take those particles can you demonstrate that there is viable virus they're capable of infecting? An uninfected individual. Yes. So what we did is we took some virus and just painted it onto their for. And then we put this animal into the into the cage next to a susceptible animal and we were able to see transmission to the susceptible animal, and that suggests that particles that were conveying the virus. We're actually not coming from the respiratory tract because there was actually no virus replicating in the donor animals respiratory tract at that point do you think this is relevant to humans? Then it's entirely possible. You can sort of imagine a person who's sick in bed with the flu if they're bedsheets or their pillowcase gets contaminated and then. You know the nurse or their partner comes in the next morning and flaps the sheet to straighten it out that possibly viable flu virus could be air sliced into the air and that way, and there was actually really interesting experiment done in the nineteen forties where somebody intentionally contaminate a a blanket with influenza virus, shook it in a closed container and was able to sample alive virus from the air. So we know that this is possible to do is just something we haven't really thought about in many decades. The obvious question is that. The the new corona virus that we're all in thrall to the moment is about the same size as flu is a respiratory infection. So do think what you'll find in for flu could be considered relevant to the coronavirus will. Certainly, it's not out of the question to think it could be relevant I. think there are a couple clues that we've seen in some of the the coup-bid research so far for instance, there was a study done in China where scientists did air sampling in various areas of a few hospitals. What they found is that the highest levels of airborne virus that they could detect was in a room where healthcare workers were taking off their P P and that suggested to the authors that contaminated gowns or on its or gloves. In the process of being taken off, could be shaken or rubbed in such a way that it was releasing coronavirus into the Air I. think what we need to do is a little bit more research on what the mechanisms by which the virus gets into the air. I. Think a lot of us just assumed it's coming out of the respiratory tract directly with confidence easing and breathing talking but there may be other mechanisms at play that we need to sort of consider and systematically study. So coughs news is spread diseases but. Everything else you wearing as well as your dandruff might do to sounds like that's what we can have signed future certainly some to think about isn't it Nicole Bouvier there and the study with those findings detailed in it has just come out in nature communications. As we reported here on the naked scientists a couple of weeks ago covid nineteen is a confusing illness some doctors dubbing it the weirdest disease they've ever treated. What makes it so weird is the broad range of severity. Some people don't even know they've been infected while amongst others we know that it can be lethal. Significant numbers of people are also reporting long-term symptoms, including fatigue sensations of pins and needles, and sometimes even struggling to think clearly. So what is causing all of this scientists think that the disease may be producing long-term changes in a range of different organs, possibly because of damage to those organs during the initial illness..

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