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Another potential application for phage that could not be more timely: phage-based particles engineered to envelop virus and prevent virus entry into mammalian cells. A team in Germany and Norway developed modified phage capsid that display sugar moieties to bind virus hemagglutinin with high affinity and avidity, and thereby prevent virus from infecting cells. Preclinical studies showed that when human lung tissue infected with influenza viruses was treated with the particles, the virus no longer able to reproduce. The team has successfully tested this approach in models of seasonal flu and avian flu, and it is believed that the particles can be adapted to treat other respiratory virus diseases. The study was published in Nature Nanotechnology. Check out the press release from Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie here.