Researchers pool data to study flu resistance

University of Zurich researchers recently teamed with scientists from Germany and the U.S. to analyze the flu’s host molecules and find better ways to stop influenza and its spread.

Influenza begins when the virus settles into the molecules in the respiratory tract. This is why these researchers have conducted studies to find and inhibit the molecules so that the virus stops spreading throughout the host’s body.

"These unchangeable host proteins are vital for the replication of the viruses," Silke Stertz, a professor at the Institute of Medical Virology at the University of Zurich, said. "We can now use these to stop the virus from spreading further."

Most recently, influenza A viruses have grown resistant to the treatments that are usually used against the flu. This means that influenza patients do not respond to the drugs and continue to feel sick, further spreading the illness to surrounding people. This also makes it more urgent and important that scientists develop new ways to treat influenza.

"We expect the approach described in this study and the use of 'big data' to bridge the gap between biomedical research and therapeutic development, and facilitate fresh insights into previously unanswered medical questions," Sumit Chanda, from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California and the co-author of the study, said.

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University of Zurich

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