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According to the world health organization, between 3 and 5 million cases of various types of influenza virus are reported worldwide each year, with up to 650,000 cases being fatal. Unfortunately, even in today’s world, science has not yet come up with a universal cure for the most common “seasonal disease”. This is explained by the fact that the virus mutates easily, which forces specialists to create more and more new types of vaccines. At the same time, the principle of vaccination is based mainly on the prevention of the disease. But it does not guarantee that you will not eventually pick up some new form of 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 the experimental drug JNJ4796, created on the basis of special selected molecules that simulate the behavior of neutralizing antibodies. These molecules bind to the virus hemagglutinin (a protein on the surface of a viral particle) and neutralize the serotypes of influenza a virus, blocking its spread throughout the body.
Laboratory tests of the drug were carried out on mice infected with lethal doses of influenza virus. First rodents administered the drug at a dose of 50 and 10 mg / kg per day before infection, and then in the same dosage for the next seven days. The drug contributed to the normalization of rodents, but they continued to lose weight. Then scientists decided to change the dose, reducing them to 5 and 15 mg/kg, but increasing the amount of their reception to two times a day. These proportions guaranteed survival of mice.
According to scientists, the molecule prevented the development of influenza virus in the body, triggering the mechanism of recovery before the infection spread. As a result, rodents, which introduced the molecule, recovered.
Additional studies of the vaccine were carried out on laboratory-grown human lung tissue cells. The results were also positive-the drug allowed to completely get rid of viral particles. All this opens up the potential for human trials of the drug.
“If you told me 10 years ago that we would have such molecules, I would not believe it at all. Nevertheless, the molecules we have created prove that they can behave like very powerful antibodies,” said Ian Wilson, one of the co — 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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