Langen – Researchers at the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) evaluate therapy for other indications for their effectiveness against influenza viruses. Potential candidates were then tested on cells and in animal experiments, identifying the potential drug with dextromethorphan. Boundaries in Immunology (2019, DOI: 10.3389 / fmu2019.01097).
Seek medication for flu / PEI
Influenza viruses regularly cause flu. Its envelope contains the M2 protein that forms ion channels as well as surface glycoproteins hemaglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). Because of the antigenic properties of these glycoproteins, they are divided into several subtypes.
Viruses are available to patients as a treatment option. "However, antiviral drugs available to date – M2 protein blockers and neuraminidase inhibitors – often develop resistance to loss of efficacy," researchers say.
Therefore they investigated drugs for other diseases due to their effectiveness against the virus. They are looking for drugs that target human cellular proteins that the virus needs to replicate in the body.
To do this, researchers used wide screen genomes of small interference RNAs (siRNAs) to identify potential candidates and signal pathways involved in the cycle of propagation of influenza virus. These targeting structures were compared with attack points already approved active substances that would be immediately available in the event of an infection wave.
Out of 15 candidate drugs, 4 were able to control influenza A infection in vitro. In mice 's efficacy studies, the drug dextromethorphan resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of pathogens in the lungs and also increased the effectiveness of antiviral oseltamivir.
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In addition, the use of dextromethorphan dextromethorphan in strain of influenza A virus H1N1 reduced the weight of the flu, but did not reduce the virus titer. "Our data show that dextromethorphan can be a flu treatment option," said Veronika von Messling, director of veterinary medicine at PEI, to September 2018. © ML / equilibreplus.com