As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Coming soon — a treatment for bird flu!

Editorial Team July 22, 2014 at 7:03 pm

In a novel discovery, scientists have identified six potential therapeutics to treat the deadly H7N9 avian influenza.’The seriousness of the 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,’ explained Juliet Morrison from University of Washington, Seattle.

The viruses that cause severe illness like H7N9 trigger gene expression signatures that are different from the signatures seen in milder infections. ‘Importantly, we can exploit these signatures for antiviral drug discovery,’ Morrison added. The investigators 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. These drugs could potentially dampen the harmful host response. (Read:Potential treatment for drug-resistant H7N9 influenza virus comes closer to reality)

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