New nose drops protect mice against H5N1 for months

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Washington, February 28 (ANI): Scientists at the Emory Vaccine Center have come up with a type of nose drops that may prevent against lethal H5N1 infection.

Upon using the nose drops to immunise mice, they found that the animals were protected for months against H5N1 infection.

The researchers have revealed that the heart of their nose drops are virus-like particles (VLPs)-empty shells that look like viruses but do not replicate.

Describing their approach in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers say that it may offer an alternative to the current method of growing seasonal influenza vaccines in chicken eggs, which is slow and inefficient.

"These results suggest that VLPs could form the basis of an effective human vaccine against H5N1 influenza," says senior author Dr. Richard Compans, professor of microbiology and immunology at Emory University School of Medicine.

With a view to determining the ability of VLPs to stimulate antibody production, Compans and his colleagues immunised some mice with them.

The researchers observed that such mice could resist an otherwise lethal dose of H5N1 virus isolated from Vietnam.

According to them, the mice's immunity-including the levels of antibodies that protected their respiratory systems-stayed stable for over six months.

Compans has revealed that he and his colleagues would next try to determine whether if their approach can also protect against infection by mutant forms of the virus that arise frequently in birds.

His team will also be evaluating the vaccine in other animal species, in which influenza causes disease symptoms similar to those seen in humans. (ANI)

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