According to data from the world health organization, annually in the world is celebrated from 3 to 5 million cases of illness by different types of influenza virus, with up to 650 000 cases are fatal. Unfortunately, even in today’s world science has not yet invented a universal cure for the most common “seasonal illness”. The reason is that the virus mutates easily, which forces professionals to create new kinds of vaccines. At the same time, the principle of vaccination is based mainly on prevention of disease. But it does not guarantee that you will end up not picked up any new form of the virus.
An international team of scientists from the United States, the Netherlands and Belgium recently published an article that describes in detail the principle of operation of an experimental drug JNJ4796 created based on special selected molecules that mimic the behavior of neutralizing antibodies. These molecules bind to a virus hemagglutinin (a protein on the surface of the virus particle) and neutralize serotypes of influenza A virus by blocking its spread throughout the body.
Laboratory testing of drug was performed on mice infected with lethal doses of influenza virus. First, rodents were administered the drug in doses of 50 and 10 mg/kg one day before infection, and then the same dosage for seven consecutive days. The drug contributed to the normalization of rodents, but they continued to lose weight. Then scientists the decision was made to change the dose, reducing them to 5 and 15 mg/kg, but increasing the number of reception to two times a day. These proportions guaranteed the survival of mice.
As scholars have noted, the molecule prevented the development of influenza virus in the body, activating mechanisms of recovery before the infection spread. In the end, the rodents which were injected molecule, recovered.
Additional studies of the vaccine were carried out on lab-grown cells of the human lung tissue. The results also were positive – the drug is allowed to completely get rid of the virus particles. All of this opens up the potential to conduct trials of the drug involving human subjects.
“If you tell me 10 years ago said that we have these molecules, I would very absolutely not believe it. However, we have created molecules prove that they are able to behave as a very potent antibodies”, said Ian Wilson, one of the authors of the study.
The next stage of the study a potential new method of combating the flu will be an experiment with the participation of the people.
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