New Flu Medications May Stop the Virus at the Molecular Level

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flu-virus-nzgaCurrent flu vaccines are not always effective at preventing the flu, and those who get the virus have only Tamiflu to rely on for improvement of symptoms. The primary resource for treating flu is thought to be leading to resistance in some flu strains. There is also the unpredictability of when various strains will prevail, so that the appropriate vaccine can be prepared in needed volumes. Researchers at Rutgers University have made a discovery that could lead to a new medical treatment for flu that will stop it at the replication stage.

The researchers have identified chemical agents that have the ability to block replication of the flu virus. They have found that they can synthesize the chemical compounds that form bonds with a viral enzyme’s metal ions, so that the enzyme is unable to complete a key step of the replication process.

Rutgers has published their findings in scientific journals, including ACS Chemical Biology and Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry. The science articles explain in greater detail how this accomplishment was made and how a similar approach was used in the development of a drug for treating AIDS. The importance of a more effective treatment for the flu virus is even greater because of the potential to battle pandemic flu viruses, like the bird flu and swine flu. Additional research could also lead to a multi-faceted approach that would protect humans, livestock and pets against the threat of flu.

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