Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Potential new flu drugs target immune response, not virus

Date:
July 21, 2014
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
The seriousness of disease often results from the strength of immune response, rather than with the virus, itself. Turning down that response, rather than attacking the virus, might be a better way to reduce that severity, says a researcher. The research team has now taken the first step in doing just that for the H7N9 influenza, and their work has already led to identification of six potential therapeutics.

The seriousness of disease often results from the strength of immune response, rather than with the virus, itself. Turning down that response, rather than attacking the virus, might be a better way to reduce that severity, says Juliet Morrison of the University of Washington, Seattle. She and her collaborators have now taken the first step in doing just that for the H7N9 influenza, and their work has already led to identification of six potential therapeutics for this highly virulent strain. The research is published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

"We set out to characterize the response to the severe disease-causing H7N9 virus and compare it to responses elicited by other serious flu viruses in a mouse model of infection," says Morrison. That work involved determining which genes are turned on by this infection.

"We have found that viruses that cause severe illness, like H7N9 and the infamous 1918 virus, trigger gene expression signatures that are different from the signatures seen in milder infections," says coauthor and University of Washington colleague Michael Katze, in whose laboratory the work was performed. "Importantly, we can exploit these signatures for antiviral drug discovery," he adds.

The investigators then used a computational approach to identify potentially therapeutic drugs. They searched databases containing gene expression profiles of cultured human cells that had been treated with different drugs, in order to find those that were the reverse of expression profiles induced by the H7N9 flu virus, and noting the drugs that accomplished this, says Morrison. These drugs could potentially dampen the harmful host response, she says.

"Six of these drugs are FDA approved and could potentially be repurposed as H7N9 influenza therapeutics," says Morrison. "I believe that computational biology represents an exciting new way to study viruses and to discover drugs to fight them," says Morrison. And that, she says, is what drew her to join Katze's laboratory.

The H7N9 avian influenza, which emerged in February, 2013, has caused those infected to become extremely ill, reminiscent of the 1918 influenza pandemic, the deadliest on record. The data suggests that such severe influenzas are associated with increased transcription of inflammatory cytokine genes, and reduced transcription of lipid metabolism and coagulation genes, according to the paper. Further study of these phenomena will lead to a better understanding of severe influenza, and could help investigators to identify potential therapeutics aimed at turning down the response.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Morrison, L. Josset, N. Tchitchek, J. Chang, J. A. Belser, D. E. Swayne, M. J. Pantin-Jackwood, T. M. Tumpey, M. G. Katze. H7N9 and other pathogenic avian influenza viruses elicit a three-pronged transcriptomic signature that is reminiscent of 1918 influenza and associated with lethal outcome in mice. Journal of Virology, 2014; DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00570-14

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Potential new flu drugs target immune response, not virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140721124024.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2014, July 21). Potential new flu drugs target immune response, not virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140721124024.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Potential new flu drugs target immune response, not virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140721124024.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. 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