The present disclosure provides compositions and methods of enhancing resistance to viral infections through targeted delivery of 5′PPP negative stranded siRNA via nanoparticles, specifically gold nanorods. The 5′PPP activates type I interferon through the signaling cascade providing a novel therapeutic and prophylactic for seasonal and pandemic influenza. The technology described herein also extends the findings to the use of nanoparticles for delivery of genetic material including but not limited to siRNA and microRNA to accomplish targeted nanoparticle based gene therapy.
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