Scientists Zero In on Cure for the Common Cold
Drugs could boost body's natural virus-killing process
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2010 6:00 PM CDT
Scientists are zeroing in on a cure for the common cold.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Until recently, it was thought that there was no cure for the common cold. Now, new research shows that our immune systems can destroy the cold virus after it has entered a cell, the Independent reports. New antiviral drugs could be developed based on this research within the next few years, scientists believe, and such drugs could also fight viruses like norovirus, which causes vomiting, and rotavirus, which afflicts many children in developing countries with diarrhea.

Viruses kill twice as many per year as cancer, since they get inside cells and essentially “hide” from the immune system and antibiotics. But this new research shows that anti-viral antibodies can actually piggyback the virus into the cell, where the antibody is recognized and the virus can be destroyed within two hours. New drugs—possibly administered via nasal spray or inhaler—could enhance this natural process in order to more effectively kill the virus. Click here for more research on cold cures—involving mice that scientists infected with colds.