It wouldn't be Ireland if you didn't have a near constant cold from late August all the way through to mid March. But sniffle no more - scientific researchers at Edinburgh Napier University may have made a breakthrough on the cure for the common cold. The answer lies in the immune systems of humans and animals.
The scientists found a molecule (an antimicrobial peptide for you science students) that can help to increase the body's natural defensive reaction to infection. Over the course of a five year study, the scientists realised that peptides in a large variety of mammals contain properties that can fight the main virus responsible for the common cold in humans, the rhinovirus.
Dr. Peter Barlow of the immunology and infection department of the university said that ultimately they will be looking to develop an actual drug treatment to cure the common cold. However, at the moment, their research is still in early stages.
What's next in the development of the cure for the common cold?
The next stage of their project will be trying to find a way to alter the peptides so that they can successfully kill the rhinovirus. If the scientists can modify the peptides, they will be a whole lot closer to producing a cure.
If a cure for the common cold is discovered, it will affect much more than those of us prone to a case of the snots. It would be very beneficial to those who suffer from more serious respiratory problems, such as asthma. For these people, viral infections can be detrimental to their health.
The study began as research into the effect of antimicrobial peptides on the influenza A virus but it was expanded to examine the effects of the peptides on the human rhinovirus as well. Researchers Filipa Henderson Sousa and Dr. Victor Casanova discovered that synthetic peptides could successfully attack the virus. Dr. Barlow intends to modify the peptides so that they are stronger and can kill the virus.
Via: The Irish Examiner