Taiwan scientists unveil new weapon in swine flu fight

July 21, 2009

Taiwanese scientists said Tuesday they had developed an organic compound which could help control the global swine flu epidemic as the worldwide death toll from the disease passed 700.

The compound, which the researchers call NTU-VirusBom, can destroy viruses such as A(H1N1) swine flu and avian influenza and stop the spread of bacteria including those responsible for staph infections.

It could be used widely in , detergents and air filters, as well as face-masks and protective gear, the researchers from National Taiwan University said.

Researchers said the invention was of special significance amid signs that swine flu had started to develop resistance to , the world's major anti-viral flu drug.

Against this backdrop, "this significant invention is sure to effectively help control the ," professor Lin Shihming, a member of the research team, told reporters.

The team had started research on developing the anti-viral compound back in 2006 in response to the deadly H5N1 strain of .

The technology has been transferred to a local company to mass produce products incorporating it.

Lin said the first products using the compound could hit the market in September.

The invention was unveiled as the World Health Organisation said Tuesday the death toll from had passed 700 since the outbreak began in April.

The virus first emerged in Mexico in April and the vast majority of deaths from it have been recorded in the Americas.

The WHO has said the virus is moving around the globe at "unprecedented speed."

Britain is the worst-hit territory in Europe, with estimates of 55,000 new cases of the A(H1N1) virus last week.

(c) 2009 AFP

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle

July 25, 2017
Why men with hepatitis B remain more than twice as likely to develop severe liver disease than women remains a mystery, even after a study led by a recent Drexel University graduate took lifestyle choices and environments ...

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

July 25, 2017
Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

July 24, 2017
Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with ...

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease

July 24, 2017
With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat ...

Raccoon roundworm—a hidden human parasite?

July 24, 2017
The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess. More likely than not, it also contaminates your yard with parasites—most notably, raccoon roundworms (Baylisascaris procyonis).

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.