Researcher Robert Love and colleagues at Pfizer Global Research and Development in San Diego, California have determined the crystal structure of enzymes from three distinct varieties of the human rhinovirus (HRV), a highly infective agent, is the primary cause for the common cold.


While most HRV infections cause relatively minor health problems such as sneezing, coughing and fatigue, they can also cause serious complications in people with chronic respiratory disease or a weakened immune system.



HRV is the most common infective agent in humans, and is thought to be responsible for 30% to 50% of all colds.



More than 100 subtypes of HRV have been recorded, making vaccination against the virus difficult—immunity to one variety fails to provide protection against others.



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