Daily News header

Drug Targets Killer Cytokine Storm From Flu

By  

Scripts Researchers say sphingosine analog AAL-R can block the immune system response triggering a "cytokine storm."

http://www.scripps.edu/news/press/012009.html

The flu causes death one of two ways - either by overwhelming the system of very young, old, or otherwise already ill individuals - this happens with the ordinary seasonal flu and the Type A H1N1 which is now spreading like wildfire.

A really dangerous influenza virus actually causes deaths among the strongest and most healthy individuals by causing the person's normal immune system to overreact and flood the lungs with fluid.

This kind of reaction causes very high mortality rates in the range of 50% or higher, as is the case with the H5N1 bird flu that the world's health agencies have been preparing for.

The current H1N1 outbreak has had a very low mortality rate, in large part because it doesn't trigger this cytokine storm and also is a close relative of an older flu strain for which many older individuals already have partial immunity.

Researchers at the La Jolla, California-based Scripts Research Institute have recently reported that the sphingosine drug directly impacts the cytokine response and therefore may be a vital tool in reducing the mortality of any new pandemic flu virus which has a high mortality rate caused by the cytokine storm.

Unlike existing drugs which attack the virus itself, this drug doesn't attempt to stop the flu infection and is therefore independent of the particular strain involved - rather it targets what is the real danger, leaving the patient time to recover on their own.

This is not important for the current H1N1 virus which is relatively harmless, but can have a significant impact on the much feared H5N1 bird flu if it ever becomes a pandemic as many researchers fear.

John McCormick is a reporter, /science/medical columnist and finance and social commentator, with 17,000+ bylined stories. Contact John through NewsBlaze.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Health News News

In this district where rural medical acces is still primitive, quacks and illegal medical stores have mushroomed in Mailu, Langsakham, Watijor, Howaipur and in areas adjacent to Howaipur rail station.
(CNS): It is not only about preventing new births of thalassemic infants; about chelation, about blood transfusion and about availability of services needed; but also about preventing complications related to Thalassaemia.
TB is a crisis of epidemic proportions. In 2013, TB killed 1.5 million people out of the estimated 9.0 million people who developed it.
The WHO reports that investigation of a recent surge in reported cases shows situation 'worse than expected' but Sierra Leone has reacted swiftly. Total Ebola cases have reached 17,942.
Flue vaccine production takes months AND sometimes the responsible agencies pick the wrong strain. The 2014 vaccine is not very useful and this looks to be a very bad year for the flu.
Globally, 370,000 million children are married every day. By 2020, an additional 142 million girls will be married before their 18th birthday.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

landing page ad

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site