Nav: Home

Researchers found that certain anti-influenza compounds also inhibit Zika virus infection

January 16, 2017

Globalization, environmental changes, population growth and urbanization make emerging virus diseases a major threat to public health. An example of such epidemics is the Zika outbreak which is ongoing in the Americas after emerging in the Pacific region.

Zika infection associated with congenital brain abnormalities is one of the eleven virus diseases that, according to World Health Organization, needs urgent research and drug development attention. At the moment, there are no approved therapies for Zika infection.

Several host cell targets are needed for replication of influenza and many other viruses. In contrast to viral proteins, the host targets are less prone to mutations and thus drugs targeting them could be more effective against viruses, which mutate easily.

A team led by Dr. Denis Kainov from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) and Professor Olli Vapalahti from the Departments of Virology and Veterinary Biosciences, from the University of Helsinki, decided to adopt this approach to test cell-directed compounds for treatment of Zika. In their recent study, published online in the Antiviral Research journal, the researchers showed that antivirals which block influenza virus by targeting host cell factors are also able to inhibit Zika virus infection.

The multinational research group utilized a model system where human retinal pigment epithelial cells were infected with Zika virus strain they isolated earlier from fetal brain. They were able to show that treatment of the cells with three drugs, called obatoclax, saliphenylhalamide and gemcitabine, prevented synthesis of viral building blocks and production of new viruses at concentrations that are not toxic to cells.

- Our results show that these antiviral drugs and their combinations are potent inhibitors of Zika virus-host cell interaction. Furthermore, the results broaden the spectrum of antiviral activity of these compounds and shed new light on their mechanisms of action, said Dr. Kainov.

- Importantly, the findings of the study demonstrate that re-purposing commercially available, approved drugs or drug candidates may accelerate development of treatment against Zika and can provide a toolbox to target also other emerging viral diseases, Prof. Vapalahti added.
-end-


University of Helsinki

Related Influenza Articles:

Obesity promotes virulence of influenza
Obesity promotes the virulence of the influenza virus, according to a study conducted in mice published in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
Influenza: combating bacterial superinfection with the help of the microbiota
Frenc researchers and from Brazilian (Belo Horizonte), Scottish (Glasgow) and Danish (Copenhagen) laboratories have shown for the first time in mice that perturbation of the gut microbiota caused by the influenza virus favours secondary bacterial superinfection.
Chemists unveil the structure of an influenza B protein
MIT chemists have discovered the structure of an influenza B protein called BM2, a finding that could help researchers design drugs that block the protein and help prevent the virus from spreading.
How proteins help influenza A bind and slice its way to cells
Researchers have provided new insight on how two proteins help influenza A virus particles fight their way to human cells.
Eating elderberries can help minimize influenza symptoms
Conducted by Professor Fariba Deghani, Dr. Golnoosh Torabian and Dr.
Mechanism to form influenza A virus discovered
A new study by Maria João Amorim's team, from the Gulbenkian Institute of Science, now reveals where the genomes of the influenza A virus are assembled inside infected cells.
Bat influenza viruses could infect humans
Bats don't only carry the deadly Ebola virus, but are also a reservoir for a new type of influenza virus.
New VaxArray publication on influenza neuraminidase quantification
InDevR Inc. announced publication of 'A Neuraminidase Potency Assay for Quantitative Assessment of Neuraminidase in Influenza Vaccines' in npj Vaccines.
Fighting mutant influenza
Another flu season is here, which means another chance for viruses to mutate.
Influenza vaccine delays are a problem for pediatricians
Uptake of influenza vaccine among children is low compared to other childhood vaccines, and missed opportunities for vaccination play an important role in this low uptake.
More Influenza News and Influenza Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.