In a preclinical study, researchers prevented influenza infection using a designer protein. The protein stopped the influenza virus from infecting cells in culture and protected mice after being exposed to heavy doses of the virus.1
While, the investigators noted that the designed protein is unlikely to become a medicine itself, they did note that the new designer protein could serve as the basis for a cheap diagnostic for detecting influenza and possibly effective medications.2
- Strauch EM, Bernard SM, La D, et al. Computational design of trimeric influenza-neutralizing proteins targeting the hemagglutinin receptor binding site [published online June 12, 2017]. Nat Biotechnol. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3907
- Service R. Designer protein halts flu [news release]. American Association for the Advancement of Science. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/designer-protein-halts-flu. Published June 12, 2017. Accessed June 23, 2017.