"This is noteworthy research," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "It shows that it is possible to block temporarily a cell signaling pathway and thereby inhibit activity of a virus."
By attacking the virus by what it needs to spread from cell to cell turns the usual approach to fighting viral infections -- antiviral drugs target the virus itself -- on its head, according to Dr. Ellis Reinherz of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
"Our approach short-circuits a cellular chemical pathway, making it unavailable to the virus and thus hindering the virus' ability to spread from cell to cell," says Reinherz in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]