Temporarily disabling a single protein in our cells may be capable of protecting us from the common cold and different viral diseases, based on research led by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California-San Francisco.
The findings have been made in human cell cultures and mice.
“Our grandmas have always been asking us, ‘In case you’re so smart, why haven’t you come up with a treatment for the common cold?” mentioned Jan Carette, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology. “Now we now have a new method to do that.”
The method of targeting proteins in our cells also worked to cease viruses related to asthma, encephalitis, and polio.
Colds, or noninfluenza-related upper respiratory diseases, are for probably the most part a weeklong nuisance. They’re also the world’s most prevalent infectious illness, costing the United States economy an estimated $40 billion a year. A minimum of half of all colds is the result of rhinovirus infections. There are roughly 160 recognized types of rhinovirus, which assists in explaining the reason getting a cold does not stop you from getting another one a month later. Rhinoviruses are highly mutation-prone and, consequently, quick to develop drug resistance, as well as to evade the immune surveillance led to by previous exposure or a vaccine.
In research published online Sept. 16 in Nature Microbiology, Carette and his associates discovered a method to stop an enterovirus, including rhinoviruses, from replicating inside human cells in culture, in addition to in mice. They completed this feat by disabling a protein in mammalian cells that all enteroviruses appear to need to be able to replicate.