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Fighting the Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Looking for therapeutic molecules to fight respiratory diseases caused by the respiratory syncytial virus

The Air Liquide Foundation is supporting the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (National Institute of Agronomic Research - INRA) in France, in partnership with the Helmholtz Institute of Shandong University in China. Scientists are looking for therapeutic molecules to fight respiratory diseases caused by the respiratory syncytial virus.

The Respiratory Syncytial Virus

The Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is one of the main causes of lower respiratory pathway infections in children. It is a common factor in respiratory diseases like bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and chronic pulmonary infections. This virus can affect people of all ages, but it is particularly dangerous for the most fragile people, especially new-born babies and elderly people. The RSV can be found all over the world and represents a real public health problem as there is currently no vaccine for the virus.

There is currently no vaccine for the virus

Identification of chemical molecules

The project consists in identifying new chemical molecules capable of attacking the virus. The evaluation of their toxicity and in vivo efficacy would allow us to develop new treatments to fight this virus.

Research teams have already identified a plant-based organic substance that can prevent the replication of the virus by interacting with a new molecular target of the virus. However, this molecule is known to cause significant side-effects. The study therefore consists in identifying similar molecules that don't cause side-effects but are still effective against RSV. Once identified, these molecules will be tested in vitro and in vivo.

The Air Liquide Foundation's contribution

The Air Liquide Foundation is donating €50,000 for the acquisition of the equipment necessary for the research project, such as reagents for molecular and cellular cultures, and consumables for the analyses.