Siberian scientists report discovery of new approach to flu treatment

The gene-oriented approach can also be effective in the fight against Staphylococcus aureus.

The gene-oriented approach can also be effective in the fight against Staphylococcus aureus.

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Scientists discovered compounds that will help treating persistent forms of the flu

Scientists from the Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine (IkhBFM, Novosibirsk) have discovered compounds that will help promptly react to and select medications for treating persistent forms of the flu and other infections in the future, Dmitry Pyshny, deputy director of IkhBFM, told reporters on Dec. 4.

"If we decide that the virus has become somewhat resistant [to drugs] and determine its genome, we can immediately create a specific agent affecting the circulating pathogenic strain," he said.

Pyshny said the compounds are short sequences of nucleic acids (oligonucleotides, analogues of DNA fragments) not present in nature and are fairly easy to synthesize.

He also said these compounds "are extremely resistant in biological environments," which is critical for possible pharmaceutical production.

"We now aim to create drugs to treat bacterial infections, especially those resistant to antibiotics," he said.

Unlike with flu, the use of analogues of nucleic acids helps develop a drug affecting a specific strain on the basis of its genetic characteristics, he said.

Pyshny said the first experiments with analogues of tuberculosis agents have been conducted in some Moscow institutes with which IkhBFM is working.

"My colleagues from Moscow institutes can check the activity [of the compounds] on tuberculosis analogues. These are currently simulated systems, simulated organisms, not so pathogenic as the strains circulating in the human population," he said.

The gene-oriented approach can also be effective in the fight against Staphylococcus aureus and various types of mycoplasma, one of the causes of atypical pneumonia, and other respiratory and inflammatory diseases, Pyshny said.

According to earlier reports, the work of IkhBFM follows the work done by Novosibirsk scientists Nina Grineva and Dmitry Knoppe, who in 1967 proposed a revolutionary theory of drugs based on oligonucleotides (short fragments of nucleic acids) capable of connecting to cellular nucleic acids and affecting the work of genes and genetic information transfer.

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