Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Staying one step ahead of influenza

Date:
October 29, 2013
Source:
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press)
Summary:
Every fall, the latest batch of flu vaccines attempts to keep society a step ahead of the evolution of the flu virus. Heroic worldwide surveillance efforts have avoided a repeat of the 1918 flu pandemic, but as shown in the recent H1N1 outbreak, viruses can still outwit even the best public health efforts.

Every fall, the latest batch of flu vaccines attempts to keep society a step ahead of the evolution of the flu virus. Heroic worldwide surveillance efforts have avoided a repeat of the 1918 flu pandemic, but as shown in the recent H1N1 outbreak, viruses can still outwit even the best public health efforts.

During the H1N1 outbreak, antiviral drugs offered the only hope against emergent flu strains. Two drug classes: adamantanes (FDA approved in 1966) and neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir, FDA approved in 1999) represent two classes of drugs that target viral an ion channel and a cell surface antigen, respectively, hereby preventing or treating infection.

In an ambitious study, the authors attempt to trace drug resistance against all strains of the flu by using an extensive influenza virus database containing all known genetic sequence information (70,000 complete nucleotide sequences) for influenza strains. Using a phylogenetic approach, authors Vanessa Garcia and Stιphane Aris-Brosou examined the evolutionary history of antiviral drug resistance. "Although the approaches employed in our study are not novel in themselves, the scale of the analyses is unprecedented and allowed us to track in public databases the dynamics of all known mutations involved in drug resistance," reported the senior author.

How does the virus outwit two leading antiviral therapies? Widespread use of these drugs has led to the emergence of drug resistance. Most disconcerting, recent "dual resistance" viruses dodge both drugs, leaving us defenseless against the virus. While adamantane resistance mutations appeared readily, it took 15-38 years after FDA approval to emerge, but emerged 3 times, whereas, the less spontaneous oseltamivir mutations took at most 7 years, serving as a public health cautionary tail. The authors support the judicious use of antiviral drugs as a last line of defense against influenza to avoid the spread of dual resistance, which is already circulating in H1N1 viruses in humans. "Our results also suggest that most of the mutations leading to influenza drug resistance are on the wane, so that recent efforts in controlling drug use are paying off, but we should remain vigilant," commented Stιphane Aris-Brosou.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). "Staying one step ahead of influenza." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029171838.htm>.
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). (2013, October 29). Staying one step ahead of influenza. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029171838.htm
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press). "Staying one step ahead of influenza." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029171838.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins