Friday, December 12, 2014

Statins for Flu?

The genetic variability of flu from case to case and season to season has made the prevention and treatment of the disease extremely difficult. Although the vaccine is somewhat effective and there are a few antivirals approved for use against influenza infection, it continues to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Thus, additional avenues of treatment and prevention must be explored.

This review article discusses the potential use of statins as a therapy for a flu infected individual. Statins have immunomodulatory effects which may be effective in treating influenza. According to the article, they can block downstream molecules which are vital in virus infectivity. These compounds are also able to limit inflammation, and consequently prevent cellular destruction. While the data from this study was not conclusive enough to pin statins as the ideal candidate for treatment of influenza, a variety of statins should still be considered for future human experiments to test effectiveness against flu. Statins are readily available in developing countries, and cheap and easy to make, so if an effective one could be identified, it could immediately effect the flu outcome and quality of life of a great number of people.

-                - Eddie Irvine

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