Human Rhinovirus (HRV) 9

(Picornaviridae family)



Description: positive sense, single-stranded RNA. Non-enveloped and non-segmented.


Power: not a lot. People almost always recover from HRV 9 after a short, intense infection. While ill, people experience symptoms of the common cold: sneezing, sinus congestion, earache, sore throat, etc.


Offenses: HRV 9 first infects the mucus cells of the nose and sometimes the cells of the conjuctiva in the eye. It then attaches itself to the respiratory endothelium and spreads locally. Individual viruses attach to the ICAM-1 region of the cell surface and are then endocytosed. Once the pH level inside the lysosome starts to increase the viral capsid is uncoated and the RNA strand is released into the cytoplasm of the cell. Symptoms are largely the result of a local cytokine-mediated inflammatory response in the upper respiratory tract leading to increased nasal discharge (runny nose), earache, sneezing and throat irritation.


Defenses: Both secretory immunoglobulin A and serum antibodies are involved in fighting this virus. Antibodies that bind to the virus before entry into cell block the uncoating of the capsid in the lysosome and, therefore, prevent the replication of the virus in the cell. No anti-viral drugs for HRV exist. Symptoms can be treated with decongestants and pain relievers.


Strategy: Be sure to infect the upper respiratory tract where temperatures are slightly lower than the lower respiratory tract and optimal for replication of this virus. Release lots and lots of virus particles through respiratory secretions to ensure transmission to other opponents and perpetuation of self. Also, conduct most of your activity in the autumn/winter months when humans are most likely to get infected