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Open Access Stopping the beating heart of the influenza virus

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Seasonal influenza A virus strains cause yearly epidemics that have a profound impact on our economy and healthcare. Occasionally, highly pathogenic influenza viruses emerge, such as the 'Spanish Flu' of 1918, which can cause deadly pandemics. The appearance of such lethal strains is unpredictable and the reasons for their pathogenicity not understood. Moreover, due to the emergence of resistance against anti-influenza strategies in seasonal strains, new pathogenic influenza viruses pose a potentially severe and hard to contain threat to our society. The development of novel strategies against influenza viruses depends on our understanding of the replication and pathogenicity of the virus. Interestingly, the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of the virus, which copies and transcribes the viral genome, is involved in both aspects of influenza virus. We have been studying the RdRp of the influenza A virus using a variety of techniques for a number of years and we will provide some insight into our recent work here.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2017

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