Animal study shows treatment blocks inflammation and protects lungs without killing the flu virus — ScienceDaily

The raging lung inflammation that can contribute to death from the flu can be stopped in its tracks by a drug derived from a naturally occurring human protein, a new animal study suggests.

In mouse studies, all untreated animals given a lethal dose of influenza died within days. All but one of the infected mice treated with the experimental therapy not only survived, but remained energetic and kept weight on — despite having high levels of the flu virus in their lungs.

The experimental treatment is a heavy dose of MG53, part of a family of proteins that plays an essential role in cell membrane repair. Already identified as a potential therapy for conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to persistent skin wounds, MG53 was found in this study to prevent death from a lethal flu infection by blocking excessive inflammation — without having any effect on the virus itself.


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Pre-clinical study suggests virus does not stay in the lungs but spreads throughout the mother’s body — ScienceDaily

New research helps explain why flu can lead to life-threatening complications during pregnancy, suggesting the virus does not stay in the lungs but spreads throughout the mother’s body.

The pre-clinical study has overturned current scientific thinking on the reasons why flu infections affect pregnant women and their babies so severely.

The findings could also help researchers working to understand the fundamental biology of how COVID-19 spreads from the lungs into the body.

The research, in animal models, showed that during pregnancy flu spreads from the lungs through the blood vessels into the circulatory system, triggering a damaging hyperactive immune response.

Led by RMIT University in collaboration with researchers and clinicians from Ireland and Australia, the new study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead author Dr Stella Liong said the research suggests the vascular system is at the heart of the potentially devastating complications

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