Winning the war against influenza

The threat of a major human influenza pandemic remains, in particular from highly aggressive strains such as avian H5N1, and has emphasised the continued need for therapeutic strategies to combat these deadly viruses.

A series of inhibitors has been developed at Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics, which will aid the design of new anti-influenza drugs, potentially including those for pandemic influenza outbreaks reports a paper in Nature Communications today.

The study, led by Griffith's Professor Mark von Itzstein in collaboration with an international team of researchers from Institut Pasteur Paris and the University of St Andrews has moved a step closer to developing next generation anti-influenza drugs.

Professor Mark von Itzstein, director of the Institute for Glycomics, said this multi-disciplinary study represents a significant breakthrough.

''The world is ill-prepared to tackle existing and emerging viruses due to the lack of available drugs and vaccines,'' he said.

''We know going into the 21st century that coming up with anti-infective drugs whether it's fighting viruses, bacteria or parasites presents humanity with a major issue.