Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Strategies for developing new antiviral flu drugs

Date:
February 27, 2014
Source:
University of Hertfordshire
Summary:
New analysis of the influenza A virus shows potential for developing new anti-viral drugs which are more likely to be universally effective against the flu virus originating from avian, swine or human virus strains. The influenza A virus has led to deadly pandemics killing millions of people -- such as the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918/19 which killed at least 40 million people, the latest swine flu pandemic in 2009 which killed an estimated 300,000 people, through to the emergence of the current threat of avian H7N7 flu which caused 72 deaths in Asia up to early 2014. Each year small changes in the influenza virus surface proteins mean that they can escape the human immune system and a new vaccination is necessary. In addition, antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu, become ineffective.

Top: Sequence conservation mapped onto the protein structure of the nucleoprotein, the left part shows a reduced display of the protein structure with potential drug binding sites shown in green. Bottom: Amino acid sequence of the nucleoprotein colour coded by conservation. The colour scale used is shown at the bottom.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Hertfordshire

New analysis of the influenza A virus by scientists at the University of Hertfordshire shows potential for developing new anti-viral drugs which are more likely to be universally effective against the flu virus originating from avian, swine or human virus strains.

The influenza A virus has led to deadly pandemics killing millions of people -- such as the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918/19 which killed at least 40 million people, the latest swine flu pandemic in 2009 which killed an estimated 300,000 people, through to the emergence of the current threat of avian H7N7 flu which caused 72 deaths in Asia up to early 2014.

Each year small changes in the influenza virus surface proteins mean that they can escape the human immune system and a new vaccination is necessary. In addition, antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu, become ineffective.

Dr Andreas Kukol, from the University of Hertfordshire's School of Life and Medical Sciences, said: "Our study set out to identify common regions within the various influenza subtypes to identify areas which could be used to develop antiviral drugs. Such antivirals would be effective against all influenza subtypes and also without leading to resistance."

The researchers looked at the nucleoprotein of the influenza virus as this is the area which is active in the infectious life cycle of the virus -- and compared the nucleoprotein across different virus types and hosts. They identified regions within the nucleoprotein that are the same across all virus types -- called conserved regions.

Dr Kukol continued: "Some of these 'conserved regions' which we identified on the nucleoprotein also overlap with those areas of the protein which antiviral drugs can bind to. Researchers will be able to develop new antiviral drugs using these particular binding sites which will be more likely to be universally effective against the different influenza viruses -- and, more than that, they will remain effective as they do not lead to resistance."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Hertfordshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andreas Kukol, David John Hughes. Large-scale analysis of influenza A virus nucleoprotein sequence conservation reveals potential drug-target sites. Virology, 2014; 454-455: 40 DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2014.01.023

Cite This Page:

University of Hertfordshire. "Strategies for developing new antiviral flu drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227115227.htm>.
University of Hertfordshire. (2014, February 27). Strategies for developing new antiviral flu drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227115227.htm
University of Hertfordshire. "Strategies for developing new antiviral flu drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227115227.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
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