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.

Related Articles


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 26, 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 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 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