Research press release


Nature Communications

Influenza: A novel mode of therapeutic intervention



今回、Maryna Eichelberger、James Stevensたちの研究グループは、新しい抗体(CD6)を作製し、この抗体が、ウイルス粒子表面上の高度に保存された領域を介してインフルエンザウイルスと結合することを明らかにした。CD6がH1N1感染の予防に有効なことは実験によって明らかになっており、この抗体の分子認識モードからすると、ウイルスが抵抗性を獲得することは、複数の同時変異が必要となることもあって、非常に難しいと考えられている。


An antibody-based therapeutic agent against flu infection could be effective in strains that are resistant to existing antiviral drugs, reports a study published online in Nature Communications. Through a detailed analysis, the study identifies a novel structure on the surface of the influenza virus that, when bound by an antibody fragment, can prevent lethal H1N1 infections in a mouse model. H1N1 is the flu strain that dominated the 2013-2014 influenza season the United Sates.

While vaccination remains the first line of defense again contracting the flu, each year the level of protection varies based on the accuracy of predicting which strain will dominate the upcoming flu season. While neuramidase inhibitors (antivirals such as Tamiflu, Relenza) have proven effective in the past, drug resistance can occur and the development of therapeutic agents against flu infections remains an ongoing challenge.

Maryna Eichelberger, James Stevens and colleagues produced a novel antibody (CD6) and demonstrate that it binds the influenza virus through a highly conserved area of the virus particle surface. CD6 was effective in preventing H1N1 infections in the laboratory, and the molecular mode of recognition of this antibody suggests that it would be very difficult for the virus to develop resistance, which would require several simultaneous mutations.

The study could significantly impact influenza drug research by providing an important new concept that should facilitate the development of effective and resilient antibody-based flu therapies, which could be crucial in fighting future pandemics.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms7114

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