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An advance toward a flu-fighting nasal spray

Date:
September 12, 2012
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
In an advance toward development of a nasal spray that protects against infection with influenza and spread of the disease, scientists are reporting identification of a substance that activates the first-line defense system against infection inside the nose.

In an advance toward development of a nasal spray that protects against infection with influenza and spread of the disease, scientists are reporting identification of a substance that activates the first-line defense system against infection inside the nose. They describe effects of a synthetic form of a natural substance found in bacterial cell walls in ACS' journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

David C. Jackson and colleagues explain that the body's so-called innate immune system forms a first-line defense system against respiratory diseases like influenza A -- which causes up to 1 billion infections and 500,000 deaths during seasonal epidemics. Those defenses swing into action almost immediately when viruses enter the nose and begin launching an infection. Scientists have been looking for ways to jump-start those defenses during flu outbreaks, and Jackson's team turned to Pam2Cys. That synthetic lipoprotein, a substance consisting of a fat and a protein, has shown promise in activating the innate immune system.

The team found in laboratory tests that using Pam2Cys as a nasal spray primes the body's immune system to fight infections. Importantly, they showed that the compound encourages but does not replace a normal immune response, which has been a concern about some anti-viral medicines. Because Pam2Cys stimulates the immune system against a wide spectrum of viral and bacterial attacks, the authors suggest it may be a particularly useful agent against pandemics and emerging viral strains.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amabel C. L. Tan, Edin J. Mifsud, Weiguang Zeng, Kathryn Edenborough, Jodie McVernon, Lorena E. Brown, David C. Jackson. Intranasal Administration of the TLR2 Agonist Pam2Cys Provides Rapid Protection against Influenza in Mice. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 2012; 9 (9): 2710 DOI: 10.1021/mp300257x

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "An advance toward a flu-fighting nasal spray." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120912125527.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2012, September 12). An advance toward a flu-fighting nasal spray. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120912125527.htm
American Chemical Society. "An advance toward a flu-fighting nasal spray." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120912125527.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

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