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.

Related Articles


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 December 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 December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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