Much can be accomplished with a team effort. This is true for most of the natural world. By forming networks and through communication, teamwork is seen in all walks of life, even in microbes. Viruses are included in this phenomenon.

Some years back, it was discovered that viruses do interact with each other. Recent studies are showing that this interaction plays a large role in the success of treating the infection. Researchers are hoping that with further study and clarification on the details, new treatments could be developed that will prove even more effective.

How Viruses Use Colonies to Resist Treatment

One study recently published its findings on the subject of viral diversity and social interaction. For a viral infection to take hold, a colony is formed. With HIV, this is also true. Once formed, the colony that resists treatment is normally the one with the most genetic diversity. The more mutations found within the colony, the better chance the virus has of becoming immune to drug therapy. Basically, diversity leads to a stronger hold on the host.

This is not good for the patient or the medical professionals who are trying to treat him or her. It does, however, help to explain why some treatment does not work as effectively as expected. Before, a drug was designed to focus on a single cell. Trying to treat an infection this way leaves out the potential for variants within the infection.

This brings us to the next point. When the viruses interact with each other, they form certain connections. Understanding how and why they communicate could unlock certain secrets that, in turn, could lead to better treatments—or even an eventual cure.

Changing the perspective on how to treat a viral infection, whether HIV, hepatitis A, or others, could help researchers find even more effective ways of eradicating a virus. When taking into account the virus’s social abilities along with the diversity it promotes, scientists become better equipped to handle the problem. Further investigation on such matters is underway.