Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 7th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Anti-Flu Solution
05 May 2014

Anti-Flu Solution

Western governments stockpile flu vaccines in case of a global pandemic. However, if a new strain of bird flu emerged that could jump easily between humans, scientists worry that many people would die in the months it takes to deliver a new vaccine. As of now, our best antiviral drugs are only partly effective and must be administered immediately after infection. But researchers have come up with a potential solution: a nasal spray containing lab-engineered proteins (shown in green) that gum up receptors on cells in the nasal passage (blue) to which flu viruses attach. When mice were given the spray a week before they got a lethal dose of the H1N1 flu virus from the 2009 pandemic, they were completely protected from infection. The team thinks their spray could be used as a preventative measure against a nasty new flu strain while an effective vaccine is developed.

Written by Daniel Cossins

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.