The synthetic protein that boosts immune system09 July 2012
EP67 – a man-made protein – can activate the immune system and fight flu if it is administered within 24 hours of exposure to the virus, according to new study published in the PLoS One Journal.
Scientists at the San Diego State University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center examined the effects of the protein on mice 24 hours after being infected with the flu virus. Mice that were given a lethal dose of influenza did not die after being exposed to EP67.
The researchers also noted that the mice given EP67 lost only an average of 6% of their body weight when given influenza. Mice tend to lose 20% after their weight when infected with flu and the team noted that some lost no weight at all.
"EP67 can protect from a lethal dose of influenza even when treatment is delayed for a full day after the time of infection," said Joy Phillips, the study’s lead scientist.
"This protection is not limited to a single strain of influenza, as is the case for the vaccine, but should protect against all strains of influenza A or influenza B."
Though the study did not examine the effects of EP67 on highly pathogenic strains of flu such as H5N1, Phillips said that it is possible that the protein could protect against them.
"EP67 should be effective against a wide variety of pathogens. Since EP67 works by stimulating local innate immunity, it should prove effective against viral, bacterial and fungal diseases," said Phillips.
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