Viruses have a particular mechanism of infection, which basically means infiltrating inside healthy cells and changing their behaviour for replication purposes.
The study was conducted on a population of mice which were given either influenza or the herpes virus, at different times during the day.
The mice infected in the morning showed more vulnerability to the viruses, quickly turning to the viral levels needed for the disease to properly install. The mice infecting in the afternoon or evening had a lower infection rate
Prof Akhilesh Reddy, one of the study’s researchers, explained the results in a statement to the BBC :
“The virus needs all the apparatus available at the right time, otherwise it might not ever get off the ground, but a tiny infection in the morning might perpetuate faster and take over the body.”
Img – Catching a cold is more likely to happen early in the morning.
One possible implication of the study’s results is that scientists may be able to put together a best practices plan for avoiding pandemics. A simple measure such as staying in during the day might save the majority of population from catching the disease. As professor Reddy explains further, it comes down to a matter of how shift workers behave :
„… shift workers, who work some nights and rest some nights and so have a disrupted body clock, will be more susceptible to viral diseases.”
The study seems to confirm previous conclusions about the importance of the body’s internal clock with respect to a person’s immunity.