Tag Archives: Influenza

New eBooks on viruses

In the age of the Internet do we still need books? Continue reading

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Virus Commuters

Both airline and commuter road travel influence flu virus distribution in the continental USA. Continue reading

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Influenza Viruses and mRNA Splicing: Doing More with Less

During their replication in the nucleus of infected cells, influenza viruses hijack the host splicing machinery to process some of their RNA segments, the M and NS segments. This review provides an overview of the current knowledge gathered on this … Continue reading

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Reasons to be cheeful: Influenza treatment

Maybe there is some reason to be more optimistic about treating influenza. Continue reading

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Silent mode on H7N9

There’s some pretty worrying news coming out about influenza H7N9. Continue reading

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Will we ever have a universal flu vaccine?

It takes just two shots of the MMR vaccine to protect a child against measles, mumps and rubella for life. Continue reading

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Gene Therapy … Against Influenza?

Gene Therapy … Against Influenza?

Interesting proof of concept experiment. Just one squirt of antibody-expressing modified AAV up the nose and animals are protected against a wide range of influenza strains – and potentially many other diseases. But there’s a long way to go before this becomes a reality in human medicine.

Intranasal Antibody Gene Transfer in Mice and Ferrets Elicits Broad Protection Against Pandemic Influenza.  Sci Transl Med Vol. 5, Issue 187, p. 187ra72 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3006299

The emergence of a new influenza pandemic remains a threat that could result in a substantial loss of life and economic disruption worldwide. Advances in human antibody isolation have led to the discovery of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that have broad neutralizing activity against various influenza strains, although their direct use for prophylaxis is impractical. To overcome this limitation, our approach is to deliver antibody via adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to the site of initial infection, which, for respiratory viruses such as influenza, is the nasopharyngeal mucosa. AAV vectors based on serotype 9 were engineered to express a modified version of the previously isolated broadly neutralizing mAb to influenza A, FI6. We demonstrate that intranasal delivery of AAV9.FI6 into mice afforded complete protection and log reductions in viral load to 100 LD50 (median lethal dose) of three clinical isolates of H5N1 and two clinical isolates of H1N1, all of which have been associated with historic human pandemics (including H1N1 1918). Similarly, complete protection was achieved in ferrets challenged with lethal doses of H5N1 and H1N1. This approach serves as a platform for the prevention of natural or deliberate respiratory diseases for which a protective antibody is available.

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How important is influenza as a human pathogen?

Pretty damn important. Continue reading

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Making a Flu Vaccine Without the Virus 

A new vaccine strategy could make flu shots cheaper, safer, and easier to produce. Using synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) instead of proteins purified from viruses, German scientists have shown they can protect mice, ferrets, and pigs against influenza. Science Now: … Continue reading

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