The researchers discovered the mechanism of mutation in the Spanish flu virus 101 years ago, considered the most deadly infectious disease in human history.
Professor Sung Baek-rin of Yonsei University, Professor Kim Kun-hwan of Kunguk University, Professor Park Eun-Sook of Kyung Hee University, said they discovered a key factor causing toxicity in the 1918 influenza virus.
The flu was reported to have killed more than 50 million people at that time.
Although there was no pathogen in Spain, it was said that it was named after it showed great interest in Spain at the time.
Influenza experts, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have recently warned of the potential outbreak of a high-risk pandemic and are focusing on prevention and early response.
Researchers who study the hepatitis B virus have long discovered that the property of the protein of influenza? PB1-F2? is similar to that of the & # 39; HBx & # 39; of hepatitis B virus.
In particular, we note that there is a mutation in the Spanish flu virus PB1-F2 protein.
It was difficult to administer because of the high-risk pathogen, but after continuous observation, PB1-F2 confirmed the principle of inhibition of the innate immune response of the host cell.
According to the researchers, the mutant PB1-F2 degrades the essential protein & # 39; DDX3 & # 39; involved in interferon signaling.
This strongly blocks the induction of interferon beta.
Interferon beta is one of the substances of the early immune system to eliminate the virus.
Preventing interferon beta induction means, in other words, increasing virulence (the pathogen causes disease or death).
Professor Kim Gyun-hwan of Konkuk University said: "It is a new mechanism of disease of the Spanish flu." "It can be applied to the development of a new type of high-risk treatment for influenza."
By identifying mutations at specific sites, researchers hope to find ways to detect high-risk viruses, such as the Spanish flu, earlier.
Professor Sung Baek-rin of Yonsei University said: "The Spanish flu has the highest mortality rate among infectious diseases experienced by mankind. It will help develop a new antiviral drug, since the interpretation of high virulence is possible 100 years then, "he said.
The research was conducted by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Information and Communication, the Korea Research Foundation and the Biological and Medical Technology Development Project.
The article on the achievements was published in the EMBO Newspaper on 12 December.[연합뉴스]
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