New Treatment Option for Ebola
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Many viruses that cause human diseases are non-segmented, negative-strand (NNS) RNA viruses. Some illnesses caused by deadly viruses cannot be treated effectively with existing drugs or vaccines. However, new research reveals several compounds that could inhibit multiple viruses, such as the Ebola virus, along with pathogens responsible for rabies, measles, and mumps, which will open up new therapeutic avenues for combating the pathogenic viruses.
"The medical field currently does not have ideal antiviral therapies, often no therapeutics at all, and the development of broad-spectrum antivirals is a great way to provide treatment in the future. Toward that end, we have identified a drug that targets multiple viruses- and may be developed into an antiviral treatment for known and emerging viruses,” study author Claire Marie Filone at Boston University School of Medicine, was quoted as saying.
John Connor and John Snyder at Boston University screened thousands of diverse compounds for small molecules that showed strong antiviral activity against multiple NNS viruses. The researchers found many molecules that inhibit infection in cells exposed to the Ebola virus or another NNS virus, known as vesicular stomatitis virus.
The molecules are related to a type of plant-derived compounds called indoline alkaloids. They share a chemical structure that could be modified to enhance antiviral activity. By blocking transcription, the most powerful of the compounds turned off the NNS viral genes.
"Because our antiviral targets such a critical step in virus replication, we may be able to develop it into a therapeutic that could be used against many different types of viral infections," Claire Marie Filone explained.
SOURCE: Journal Chemistry & Biology, March 2013