Scientists from the University of Glasgow have made a significant discovery related to our defense against bird flu. They found that bird flu strains have developed ways to overcome our protective barriers, but they are now close to predicting the flus in birds that pose the greatest risk to humans. The researchers identified a specific part of our DNA called BTN3A3, which becomes active in response to infection. When BTN3A3 is activated in the nose, throat, and lungs, it reduces the ability of bird flu viruses to replicate, effectively blocking them. This discovery opens up new possibilities for monitoring and controlling potential pandemics by analyzing the genetic code of circulating bird flu strains.

The researchers aim to sequence the genetic code of flus present in birds to identify dangerous strains and implement targeted measures to control their spread. The recent outbreak of avian flu (H5N1) has highlighted the importance of such measures, as it has affected bird populations on a large scale. While some bird flu samples have shown resistance to BTN3A3, bypassing this barrier is just one factor in the virus’s threat to human health. However, this discovery, along with genetic surveillance, provides valuable insights for assessing future disease risks and informing public health strategies.