Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Starve a Flu?

That's a new strategy gaining momentum in the fight against influenza.  The idea is to reduce the amount of cellular material inside the human body that is used by the virus for reproduction.  From a news release at Popular Mechanics:
Most drugs now used to treat the flu have a straightforward strategy: attack the virus. But a new study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison proposes that it might be possible to take another approach. Researchers there have discovered a way to reduce the cellular material inside a person that influenza cells use to multiply. A news release from the university likens it to “cutting the fuel line on a bank robber’s getaway car.”  The study, published yesterday in the journal Cell Host and Microbe, could help in the selection and development of new medicines. Drugs created as part of this strategy would target the cellular machinery that viruses feast on, reducing the odds the cells will be able to mutate and develop resistance.