In the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of new viral respiratory infections, predominantly from zoonotic origins. This crossover - from animals to humans - is resulting in new strains of respiratory tract diseases that are unresponsive to current treatment.  Our understanding of the transmission mechanisms is still lacking and this has an important impact on the risk of worldwide pandemics, such as SARS, MERS-CoV, SIV and H5N1.  New therapeutic  strategies are needed to tackle the threat of viral respiratory pandemics.

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