New Tool to Monitor Influenza Virus Mutations
A new tool has been developed to monitor influenza A virus mutations in real-time. It was developed by a Rutgers University led team and enable virologists to learn how to stop viruses from replicating. Influenza A virus is highly contagious and mutates rapidly. It also develops resistance to drugs and vaccines in the mutation process. Until now, studying mutations in cells has required destroying them to extract their contents. The new tool enables analysis without killing cells, allowing researchers to get snapshots of viral replication as it occurs. The next steps include studying multiple segments of viral RNA and monitoring the influenza A virus in animals. The tool was developed by Kholud Dardir along with senior postdoctoral associate Hao Wang and Maria Atzampou, a doctoral student. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign contributed to the study.