Gene that fights flu identified

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The Independent Online

Some people may be at risk of a severe reaction to flu because they are not protected by a key gene, scientists believe.

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh have identified a gene, IFITM3, responsible for the body's response to flu and other viruses. It produces a protein that protects cells against infections and is thought to be critical in the battle against viruses such as swine flu.

Scientists think that when the protein is present in large quantities, the spread of flu in the lungs is hindered.