Scientists may have discovered new treatment for Zika virus


SINGAPORE: Scientists from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have come up with a drug that could kill the mosquito-borne Zika virus before severe infection sets in.

The drug, which took six years to develop, was also found to be able to tackle viral infections in the brain – an important feature as Zika typically targets the brain and central nervous system.

Associate Professor Nam-Joon Cho, who is from NTU’s school of materials science and engineering, yesterday said that the new drug is unique because it attacks the physical structure of the Zika virus. Most antiviral drugs work by stopping viruses from replicating, but can become ineffective if a virus mutates.

In contrast, the new peptide drug targets the virus’ membrane, which Prof Cho compared to a balloon.

“Like how a pin pricks a balloon, the peptide pricks a hole in the viral membrane,” he said.

“Prick enough holes, and the virus will be ruptured.”

The study was a collaboration between NTU, the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, and Ghent University in Belgium. Results were published in the international journal, Nature Materials, on Monday. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

World , zika virus

   

Next In Regional

Covid-19: KL and Putrajaya hit 100% registration for vaccine
Ringgit slips as optimism over greenback grows
Foreign investors change course, turn net buyers
Covid-19: Over 5.8 million doses of vaccine administered as of Sunday (June 20)
Zahid gives govt two weeks deadline to reconvene Parliament
New U.S. envoy for North Korea says looks forward to 'positive response' on dialogue
Consumer spending on track for recovery
New vision for Hong Kong provides great openings for Asean
Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing departed for Russia on Sunday, state media says
Pope joins Myanmar bishops' appeal for humanitarian corridors

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers