Influenza Virus

Influenza Virus can Evolve as Resistance to Pandemic Drugs

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Anti-flu drug from influenza virus is currently under development that to be used in the treatment of contagions and genetic mutations. This study was initiated by the scientist at the Imperial College London with the cooperation of Public Health England. This study found that two or more genetic changes would be required for the virus to create opposition to favipiravir (the antiviral drug which was developed in Japan for the experiment).

It has no license in the UK to be used as a cure of flu but the passed the clinical trials and proved effective then it might get a license to be useful in the treatment of contagious flu and where the other drugs might fail.

In the earlier laboratory tests, animal and clinical studies were showing that virus of influenza was not able to overcome the treatment of favipiravir. However, the newest observations were published in PNAS which claims that influenza can create resistance to the drug.

Wendy Barclay, Professor at the Department of Medicine and Action Medical Research Chair and one who led this study said that the RNA viruses especially influenza can create the environment to evolve and favipiravir can be potential drug to resists this evolving.

However, the scientists checked the possibilities for the development of the virus in an occurrence of favipiravir and they found that virus was capable of growing due to unfavorable mutations that become unaffected to antiviral. The first mutation caused a change in RNA enzyme itself. It is working while blocking the effect of the drug. But, it has the ability to imitate. However, the loss was contradicted by the second mutation of RNA.

This research is representing the success of the NIHR Health Protection Research Units and contributed to the improving knowledge base of public health, she added.

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