Viruses have evolved many ways to avoid detection by the immune system. A recent study by scientists at The Pirbright Institute has revealed that both bovine and human respiratory syncytial viruses (bRSV and hRSV respectively) capture a protein that is important for the antiviral response, preventing cells signalling for help from the immune system. Unravelling this sneaky method of escape could help us to understand how these viruses cause disease.
Four mutations in bird flu viruses allow them to escape human antiviral drugs without compromising their fitness, studies at The Pirbright Institute have revealed. If flu strains with these mutations make the jump from birds to humans, available options for prevention and treatment could be limited.