Breakthrough in hunt for common cold cure

Breakthrough in hunt for common cold cure

When tested on human cells in a dish, the drug was found to block several strains of cold virus from replicating, without having any effect on the cells.

The ICL team made a decision to take a unique approach to the problem: If we can't directly take down every cold virus (and every potential cold virus), maybe we can make the human body inhospitable for those viruses.

The research, published in the Nature Chemistry journal today, states the latest step to combat the common cold.

Despite being so widespread, the common cold has consistently eluded effective medical treatment, both because of the vast number of viruses that cause it-more than 150 strains of rhinovirus infect humans-and because these pathogens are particularly fast-evolving.

The common cold is caused by viruses with hundreds of variants, and these overwhelming numbers can hinder efforts to immunize or vaccinate ourselves against them.

Researchers hope to one day produce a drug that can be inhaled, and reach the lungs quicker, for people who have just started getting the sniffles. The molecule targets a protein in cells called N-myristoyltransferase (NMT), that viruses "hijack" to form a protective shell, which allows them to multiply. In these human cell tests there was no sign of broader cytotoxicity and this NMT strategy could have applications for viral infections other than the common cold, including foot and mouth disease and poliovirus.

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He adds that the treatment could be an especially good option for people with health conditions such as asthma because a simple cold could lead easily to illnesses for them.

A cure for the common cold may have been found - according to global researchers.

Currently, the only way to treat the common cold is to treat its symptoms.

Many of us spend a lot of money during our lives on cold remedies that don't really work - but a new drug could stop the virus in its tracks. However, further studies are needed to ensure that the drug is not toxic in the body.

Solari said researchers are unclear whether this approach will work by the time cold symptoms appear, which is typically a few days (not hours) after a person has been infected.

"There is a still a long way before this becomes a medicine".

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