A University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston study has shown that hydrogen sulfide can reduce the severity of RSV.
To address the role of the gas in modifying the severity of RSV infection, the researchers used a model of RSV infection using the tissue that lines the airway, which is the area of the body most vulnerable to this infection. These findings are currently available in the Journal of Virology.
They found that RSV infection reduced the ability of the airway tissue cells to generate hydrogen sulfide and increased its breakdown. The researchers also found that blunting production of the gas increased the number of virus particles and the release of mediators that cause inflammation of the airway tissue.
In contrast, providing a drug that triggers a steady release of the gas, referred to as H2S, blocked RSV viral replication and inflammation.