However, it is known that influenza viruses can develop resistance to these drugs. New research by Marc Lipsitch and colleagues (Harvard University) suggests that wide-spread use of antiviral drugs during a pandemic carries a substantial risk of resistance emerging and resistant influenza strains causing illness in a substantial number of people. This would counteract the benefits of antiviral drugs but is not likely to eliminate those benefits entirely.
These researchers set up a mathematical model to mimic the spread of influenza. They then fed a set of assumptions into the computer. These included information about the rate of transmission of influenza from one person to another; what proportion of people would receive antiviral drugs for prophylaxis or treatment; how likely the drugs would be to successfully treat or prevent infection; and in what proportion of people the virus might become resistant to drugs.
The modeling led to three main predictions. First, it predicted that widespread use of antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir would quickly lead to the spread of resistant viruses, even if resistant strains emerged only rarely. Second, even with resistant strains circulating, prophylaxis and treatment with oseltamivir would still delay the onset of the pandemic and reduce its total size. Third, non-drug interventions (such as social isolation and school closures) would further reduce the number of cases, but a higher proportion of cases would be caused by resistant strains if these control measures were used.
Andrew Hyde | alfa
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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