Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Influenza B Virus

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Influenza B Virus

Article excerpt

Researchers at Rutgers University and the University of Texas at Austin have reported a discovery that could help scientists develop drugs to fight seasonal influenza epidemics caused by the common influenza B strain.

Their discovery also helps explain how influenza B is limited to humans and why it cannot be as virulent as A strains that incorporate new genes from influenza viruses that infect other species. The devastating flu pandemic of 1918, the pandemics of 1968 and 1977, and the avian influenza that emerged in the middle of the last decade were caused by influenza A viruses. Understanding influenza B features that limit it to humans will help scientists better understand how influenza A strains are able to cross species.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The researchers have determined the three-dimensional (3-D) structure of a complex between an influenza B virus protein and one of its human protein targets, resulting in suppression of the cell's natural defenses to the infection and paving the way for the virus to replicate efficiently. Their findings are detailed in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

"Our study shows the basis by which nonstructural protein 1 of influenza B, or NS1B, binds to a human host protein, immobilizing it to prevent it from fighting the virus," says Gaetano Montelione, a lead author and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Rutgers University. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.