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New treatment could ‘protect against any strain of the flu’

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Posted April 30, 2014
New treatment could 'protect against any strain of the flu'
The new biologic (green) binding to the surface of cells (blue nuclei), protecting the cells from invasion by the influenza virus.

Scots scientists have developed a novel treatment that could protect against any strain of the flu.

It is hoped that the new development, led by researchers at the University of St Andrews, has the potential to guard against current, future and even pandemic strains of the virus.

In an international effort, the scientists involved say that the preventative treatment could be used as a ‘frontline defence’ before an effective flu vaccine is developed. Leading influenza experts say the new development is ‘very exciting and potentially of great importance in this era’.

The BBSRC and MRC-funded research was led by Professor Garry Taylor and Dr Helen Connaris in the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex at St Andrews. They said “We have developed an alternative host-targeted approach to prevent influenza by synthesising novel proteins, or biologics, that are designed to mask specific sugar molecules that line the respiratory tract.

“The , and indeed other respiratory pathogens, needs to bind to these sugars to gain entry to our cells to start the infection process.”

Read more at: MedicalXpress

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