Medical News UK, Feb. 20, 2007 GALVESTON - When a virus infects a person, it triggers a series of biochemical reactions in immune-system cells that literally may have life or death consequences. Usually, the result is an effective immune response, leading to the elimination of the virus and the infected person's recovery. But in the case of some of the world's deadliest pathogens - including the Ebola, Marburg and Lassa fever viruses, as well as the influenza virus strain responsible for the 1918 flu pandemic - the immune system itself actually becomes the most dangerous element of the disease. All too often, a sudden immune overreaction sends the infected person into a shock-like state from which he or she may never recover. Now, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) believe they've found a way to spot the biochemical profile of an inappropriate immune response to viral infection - an important step toward developing new therapies that may head off or stop an otherwise fatal immune system meltdown.