Pandemism of swine flu and its prospective drug therapy
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- Saxena, R.K., Tripathi, P. & Rawat, G. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis (2012) 31: 3265. doi:10.1007/s10096-012-1716-5
Swine flu is a respiratory disease caused by influenza A H1N1 virus. The current pandemic of swine flu is most probably due to a mutation—more specifically, a re-assortment of four known strains of influenza A virus subtype H1N1. Antigenic variation of influenza viruses while circulating in the population is an important factor leading to difficulties in controlling influenza by vaccination. Due to the global effect of swine flu and its effect on humans, extensive investigations are being undertaken. In this context, Tamiflu is the only available drug used in the prophylaxis of this disease and is made from the compound shikimic acid. Due to the sudden increase in the demand of shikimic acid, its price has increased greatly. Thus, it is necessary to find an alternative approach for the treatment of swine flu. This review presents the overall information of swine flu, beginning from its emergence to the prevention and treatment of the disease, with a major emphasis on the alternative approach (bacterial fermentation process) for the treatment of swine flu. The alternative approach for the treatment of swine flu includes the production of shikimic acid from a fermentation process and it can be produced in large quantities without any time limitations.