Singapore, 10 June 2009 – Researchers at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have uncovered genetic differences between 2009 H1N1 flu strain and previously circulating H1N1 strain. In their research, Professor Ram Sasisekharan and his colleagues found the 2009 H1N1 strains distinct from existing strains. This means that individuals are likely not protected from infection due to the presence of any existing cross-reactive antibodies – proteins that protect humans from infections. The 2009 H1N1 is presently vulnerable to antivirals but would only require one key mutation or change to become resistant to viral inhibitors like Tamiflu®.
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