Navigation Links
U of S Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization team discovers key step in flu virus replication

As public health officials around the world keep a nervous eye on the spread of avian influenza, the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) has uncovered a key step in how the influenza virus causes infection.

Yan Zhou and her team have discovered how a crucial pathway that supports the influenza A virus's ability to reproduce itself is activated, a finding that could pave the way for new drugs and vaccines.

The paper will appear in the January 2007 issue of the Journal of General Virology and recently has been given advance on-line publication.

"The work we are doing will be applicable to all influenza viruses, including influenza A virus subtype H5N1," said VIDO Director Lorne Babiuk.

Zhou says that although years of research remain to be done, this work provides novel insights for developing live vaccines and antiviral drugs for influenza epidemics and pandemics. A provisional patent has been filed on the findings.

"Given the health, economic and social consequences of influenza epidemics, the work of Dr. Zhou and her team demonstrates the importance of building influenza research capacity in Canada," said Dr. Bhagirath Singh, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity.

"Their research findings may help to develop new influenza treatments and prevent the disease, as well as add to global pandemic preparedness research."

To survive, the influenza virus hijacks the host animal or human's cellular machinery and forces it to make more copies of the virus. The researchers believe that the cellular events involved in this process are an excellent target for interventions against influenza.

The study revealed novel characteristics of a protein, called NS1, that activates a key pathway in the virus's reproduction. This information will help the researchers learn how to create harmless influenza viruses that can be used as live vaccines.

The pathway can be thought of as an assembly line with a switch to turn it on, says Zhou. "If the switch is turned on, the pathway enables efficient production of more viruses. But only the NS1 protein can turn on the switch."

The researchers are investigating genes and proteins of the influenza viruses of swine, horses and birds to see how they activate downstream cellular signalling pathways. To do this, they are using reverse genetics technology, where researchers begin with a gene and figure out its function.

These studies will allow the team to identify the genes that enable the virus to cause disease, laying the groundwork for antiviral drug development.

"Increasingly, new diseases involve both humans and animals," said Andrew Potter,VIDO's Associate Director (Research). "VIDO's background in veterinary research means that when diseases like avian influenza develop, we have the resources to begin studying the disease fairly quickly."


Related biology news :

1. FDA Approves Human Hookworm Vaccine for Phase I Safety Trials
2. Live Recombinant Adenovirus Vaccine Technique Explored
3. Gene Vaccine Protects Mice Against Development Of Her2/neu Breast Cancer
4. NIAID Initiates Trial of Experimental Avian Flu Vaccine
5. Study Models Impact Of Anthrax Vaccine
6. New Insights Into HIV Immunity Suggest Alternative Approach to Vaccines
7. Pathogen-Mimicking Vaccine As Strategy For Cancer Therapy
8. EuroVacc 02 HIV Vaccine Trial Begins
9. Active Vaccine Prevents Mice From Developing Prion Disease
10. New Vaccine To Be Used For First Time In Polio Outbreak Response
11. Boosting The BCG Vaccine To Beat Tuberculosis
Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 ... and partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) ... "With or without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 ... Terrorist Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled with ... resettlement. (Right now, all refugee applications are suspended ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event in ... and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and Smart ... the expo portion of the event and feature a ... on trending topics within 3D printing and smart manufacturing. ... will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob K. ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No ... but researchers at the New York University Tandon ... of Engineering have found that partial similarities between ... systems used in mobile phones and other electronic ... The vulnerability lies in the fact ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... They call ... complex biological network, a depiction of a system of linkages and connections so ... PhD, associate professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and director ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... DuPont Pioneer and recently formed CasZyme, a ... a multiyear collaboration to identify and characterize novel CRISPR-Cas nucleases. The goal of ... across all applications. , Under the terms of the agreement, Pioneer will provide ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Wound Market with the addition of its newest module, US Hemostats & Sealants. ... for thrombin hemostats, absorbable hemostats, fibrin sealants, synthetic sealants and biologic sealants used ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and ... researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: