Researchers believe their work is critical because many of the patients, especially the elderly, die.
“We have identified 45 different activemedicinal compounds. Then we tested them to find out if they affect the influenza A virus, ”says Denis Kainov, professor at the Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine.
The team found that several active ingredients can change how the virus interacts with our cells. These drugs include:
- Atorvastatin, which lowers blood cholesterol levels and prevents atherosclerosis.
- Candesartan, which is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
- Hydroxocobalamin, which is used to treat vitamin B12 deficiency.
These are all commonly prescribed medications to support the body and are used for common diseases.
“Some drugs increase the effect of viruseson cells, while others weaken them. The answer depends on the target of the drugs in our cells. If the drug target is important for the spread of the virus, we can limit its activity. But if the target of the drug is part of the immune system that protects us from viruses, and we suppress it with the drug, the activity of the virus can increase, ”explains Kainov.
It is important to note that the results of the study do not show what consequences the use of these drugs has on patients in practice.
“We do not know how different drugs affectdisease course or mortality rate of patients with influenza. Our hypothesis is based on experiments with computer models and in the laboratory, ”adds Kainov.
More research is needed to see exactly how different medications affect patient outcomes.
Influenza usually causes about 1,000deaths per year in Norway. Various measures used to stop the spread of the coronavirus have significantly reduced the rate of influenza infection, but scientists expect a tough season this year.
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