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U of S Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization team discovers key step in flu virus replication

s live vaccines.

The pathway can be thought of as an assembly line with a switch to turn it on, says Zhou. "If the switch is turned on, the pathway enables efficient production of more viruses. But only the NS1 protein can turn on the switch."

The researchers are investigating genes and proteins of the influenza viruses of swine, horses and birds to see how they activate downstream cellular signalling pathways. To do this, they are using reverse genetics technology, where researchers begin with a gene and figure out its function.

These studies will allow the team to identify the genes that enable the virus to cause disease, laying the groundwork for antiviral drug development.

"Increasingly, new diseases involve both humans and animals," said Andrew Potter,VIDO's Associate Director (Research). "VIDO's background in veterinary research means that when diseases like avian influenza develop, we have the resources to begin studying the disease fairly quickly."


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Contact: Marie-France Poirier
mediarelations@cihr-irsc.gc.ca
613-941-4563
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
15-Nov-2006


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