Yadish Bukhari, Sahar Fazal and Hamid Rashid
Influenza virus infection is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths annually. Current vaccination strategies and antiviral drugs provide limited protection; therefore new strategies are needed. RNA interference is an effective means and is now widely used to knock-down gene expression in a sequence specific manner making it a powerful tool not only for studying gene function, but also for therapeutic purposes, including antiviral treatment, by targeting highly divergent pathogens including human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV), hepatitus C virus (HCV), influenza virus and SARS caronavirus, all of which pose enormous threats to global human health. In the present work, potential siRNA are being designed against segment HA and NA of influenza virus using a novel web-based online software system, siVirus, which provides functional, off-target minimized siRNAs targeting highly conserved regions of divergent viral sequences.
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