Researchers analyzing the DNA of a family of viruses linked to the common cold could one day lead to a cure.
The rhinoviruses that cause colds have been elusive targets for drugs. Studying the genes of all 99 known strains of the germ have helped uncover sections of DNA that consistently appear and may be vulnerable to medications, according to a report in the journal Nature.
Colds and their complications, such as asthma attacks, cost as much as $100 billion annually in care and lost work, said Stephen Liggett, a geneticist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences in Baltimore, who led the study. Only eight rhinovirus genomes were sequenced when he started the study, Liggett said.
Liggett said he is conducting a nationwide sampling of rhinovirus infections to find more genomes and further expand the list of known rhinoviruses.
Source: Bloomberg.com, Cure for Common Cold May Result From Virus DNA Search