A potential new treatment to protect immunosuppressed patients from human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been discovered by scientists at the University of Cambridge. Their study shows that certain epigenetic inhibitors expose and help to destroy dormant HCMV infections, which often reactivate to cause serious illness and death in these vulnerable groups. Subject to clinical trials, their proposed ‘shock and kill’ treatment strategy offers hope to transplant patients across the world.
The UK is a world leader in sequencing SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Of all the coronavirus genomes that have been sequenced in the world, nearly half have been sequenced by COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium (Cog-UK). The consortium began life on March 4 when Sharon Peacock, a professor of public health and microbiology at the University of Cambridge, emailed a handful of scientists and asked for their help. The Conversation spoke to Professor Peacock about that day and what happened after.