A therapeutic peptide that treats Zika Virus.
- Potential therapeutic to fight against the growing threat of the Zika virus.
- Peptide is fast acting and destroys Zika virions within 5 minutes of exposure.
Zika is an infectious disease spread primarily by Aedes mosquitoes and results in symptoms similar to those of the flu. Recently, Zika virus has gained notoriety as a cause of Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly, and the virus is being investigated for links to other neurological complications. The emerging threat posed by the Zika virus mandates a quick response, but neither a vaccine nor antiviral drug is currently available.
Emory University researchers have found that peptides secreted through the skin of frogs native to Southern India (Hylarana aurantiaca) have potent virucidal effects against the Asian, African and South American Zika virus strains. These peptides effectively inhibit virion replication in vitro. Peptides have potential to be developed into potent antiviral therapeutics against Zika viruses, as well as Dengue viruses DENV 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Shown below are TEM micrograph of Zika Virus treated with a control (left) versus treated with peptide (right). Frog skin peptide treatment led to the loss of morphology and aggregation of virus particles.
Proof of principle experiments have been conducted in vitro.