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First comprehensive genomic study of common cold reveals new treatment targets
Date:10/24/2008

Cincinnati, OH (October 24, 2008) Today, scientists from Procter & Gamble (P&G), the University of Calgary and the University of Virginia announced results from the first study to examine the entire human genome's response to the most common cold virus, human rhinovirus. The research confirmed, at the genomic level, that the immune system response to the virus, and not the virus by itself, results in common cold symptoms. Data generated by the study will be crucial in the search for new treatments for the common cold, which is the most common illness worldwide, affecting billions of people every year. Specifically, the study identifies several categories of therapeutic targets that could balance the immune response in order to minimize symptoms during an infection and potentially even lead to therapies that may prevent infection. Results of the study are published in today's online edition of the November 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (AJRCCM).

"Rhinovirus is the major cause of the common cold, but it is also an important pathogen in more serious conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)," said David Proud, PhD, Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Calgary and senior author of the study. "The study's findings are a major step toward more targeted cold prevention and treatment strategies while also serving as a valuable roadmap for the broader respiratory science community."

Over 200 different viruses cause the common cold, but the rhinovirus accounts for 30 to 50 percent of cases. Because of the complexity of our immune response, research has been a lengthy process, with previous human studies only examining the response to infection in a select number of genes.

Research Methodology

In the randomized, placebo-controlled study, researchers infected 17 volunteers with rhinovirus-16 and an additional 18 vo
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Contact: Shellie Byrum
sbyrum@spectrumscience.com
202-955-6222 x2516
Procter & Gamble
Source:Eurekalert

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