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Phage capsid against influenza: perfectly fitting inhibitor prevents viral infection

Phage capsid against influenza: perfectly fitting inhibitor prevents viral infection

Phage capsid against influenza: perfectly fitting inhibitor prevents viral infection
Image Credit: Barth van Rossum / FMP 2020

Biophysicists from Freie Universität participate in groundbreaking influenza research. 

A new approach brings the hope of new therapeutic options for suppressing seasonal influenza and avian flu: On the basis of an empty – and therefore non-infectious – shell of a phage virus, researchers from Berlin have developed a chemically modified phage capsid that “stifles” influenza viruses. 

News from Mar 31, 2020

Perfectly fitting binding sites cause influenza viruses to be enveloped by the phage capsids in such a way that it is practically impossible for them to infect lung cells any longer.

This phenomenon has been proven in pre-clinical trials, also involving human lung tissue. Researchers from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), Freie Universität Berlin (FU), Technische Universität Berlin (TU), Humboldt-Universität (HU), the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and Charité were involved in this groundbreaking work.

The results are also being used for the immediate investigation of the coronavirus. The findings have now been published in Nature Nanotechnology.

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Keywords

  • Biophysics
  • coronavirus therapy
  • influenza viruses