Guy Gubi and Leslie Lobel
The infl uenza virus is one of the most important pathogens the human race has ever encountered due to its great potential to rapidly change and cause major epidemics and pandemics. Th erefore, research into new treatments for infections caused by this virus is critical. Today, few options exist for anti-infl uenza treatment primarily due to widespread resistance to both classes of infl uenza antivirals (Adamantanes, of which Amantadine is one analogue, and neuraminidase inhibitors), which occurs in pandemic and seasonal viruses, rendering these drugs to be of marginal utility in the treatment modality. To address the need for more eff ective therapeutics, we hypothesize that treatment with a combination of antiviral drugs, composed of drugs with diff erent mechanisms of action, inhibiting diff erent steps in the viral life cycle and working together in a complementary or synergistic manner, can achieve optimal inhibition, and be a broadly reactive treatment as well as a prophylactic for many diff ering strains of infl uenza. A kinetic model for virus replication using fl ow cytometry was developed and demonstrated the eff ect on viral kinetics of anti-infl uenza treatments. Drug cocktails were screened for synergy with our kinetic model and we determined that using a triple combination of Amantadine, Oseltamivir and Ribavirin demonstrated a signifi cant synergistic eff ect, which suggests that this formulation may have potential for an improved treatment. We also identifi ed a novel anti-infl uenza peptide, which targets the conserved PA-B1 binding domain of the Infl uenza?s RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Th is peptide demonstrated signifi cant inhibition of Infl uenza replication in our kinetic model for viral replication.
Guy Gubi received his B.Sc. degree in 2005 and M.Sc. degree in 2007 with excellence from the Department of Virology, Faculty of Health Science, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. He is currently completing his Ph.D. degree in the Department of Virology, Faculty of Health Science, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His research work involves study of novel anti-Infl uenza treatments and developing a kinetic model for virus replication.