A medication used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective for Zika virus, scientists have discovered. The drug, called chloroquine, has a long history of safe use during pregnancy, and is relatively inexpensive.
Earlier studies have suggested that having repeated annual influenza vaccination can prevent natural immunity to the virus, and potentially increase the susceptibility to influenza illness in the event of a pandemic, or when the vaccine does not 'match' the virus circulating in the community. But now, researchers at the Influenza Center in Bergen have published a study, which concludes that annual influenza vaccination does not increase susceptibility to influenza infection in years of vaccine mismatch.
Just as flu season swings into full gear, researchers have uncovered a previously unknown mechanism by which the human immune system tries to battle the influenza A virus. The discovery sheds new light on how the virus -- which kills 12,000 to 56,000 people in the United States annually -- often wins, and it could ultimately lead to new treatments.
The below average efficacy of last year's influenza vaccine (which was only 20 to 30 percent effective) can be attributed to a mutation in the H3N2 strain, a new study reports. With the mutation, most people receiving the egg-grown vaccine did not have immunity against H3N2 viruses that circulated last year.
Developing a universal flu vaccine that would protect against all seasonal and pandemic strains of the virus is no easy task, and new research suggests that one of the most promising strategies -- creating a vaccine that targets the 'stalk' of a protein that covers the flu virus -- is a strong one, but isn't completely bulletproof. Researchers found that the stalk of the hemagglutinin protein can vary in response to pressure from the immune system.
New research shows that a new class of antiviral drugs works by causing the virus' replication machinery to pause and backtrack, preventing the virus from efficiently replicating. This discovery, made possible by a high-throughput experimental technique called 'magnetic tweezers,' could speed the development and approval of related antiviral drugs.
A new flu forecasting tool aims to make better predictions by combining data about how the virus spreads with an estimate of how much the current virus evolved compared to recent years. The new model accurately predicted the total number of cases for each season in the US from 2002 to 2016, and produced an accurate, real-time prediction for the 2016-17 season before it started last year.
A virus-like particle vaccine can prime the body’s immune response and prevent the severe respiratory disease that results when patients given an early form of a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are exposed to RSV, according to a study.
A new study offers a rare glimpse into the genetics of a herpes simplex virus transmission event -- information that may prove useful in future development of therapeutics and vaccines. The study reveals nearly perfect genetic transmission of the virus from a father to his son and lays the foundation for future studies exploring the genetic diversity of this virus.
Flu viruses contain defective genetic material that may activate the immune system in infected patients, and new research published in PLOS Pathogens suggests that lower levels of these molecules could increase flu severity.