Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus (pH1N1) was the causal factor of the recent flu pandemic, which claimed several hundred lives. The influenza virus leads to respiratory disease that results in a variety of symptoms in humans, including nasal secretion, barking cough and a decreased appetite. Seasonal reassortment and re-emergence of the virus leads to severe and untreatable infections, causing the generation of drug-resistant strains and antigenic shift, which can influence viral entry into cells, transmission and tissue tropism. Several drugs and vaccines developed in order to combat the virus are currently undergoing clinical trials. Of these, only a few antiviral drugs, such as zanamivir and oseltamivir, have been reported to help prevent the effects of swine flu. The ongoing search for alternative therapies that can efficiently combat this reassorting virus is a hot topic nowadays. Hence, this article highlights the specific natural bioactive compounds, vaccines and antivirals, both upcoming and currently available in the market, and their efficacy against viral attack.
Future Virology. 2012;7(10):947-950. © 2012 Future Medicine Ltd.