Researchers hopeful of new treatment for Zika

Added On August 8, 2017

Chinese medical experts have developed an antiviral peptide that can inhibit the Zika virus. 
It has proven effective on mice and is expected to be developed into an antiviral treatment for humans.
The results were published on the website Nature Communications on Tuesday.
China Report has the details.
The research team consists of experts from Fudan University and the Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology.
They developed a synthetic peptide derived from the stem region of the Zika envelope protein, designated Z2. 
The team found Z2 can interact with Zika surface protein and disrupt the integrity of the viral membrane.
The polypeptide inactivating agent is superior to the current Zika virus drugs such as small-molecule drugs, antibody drugs and ordinary peptide inhibitors.
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE) LULU, Researcher from Fudan University
"That is to say, let me show you an example. Other Polypeptide drugs are the police who can only catch the thieves when they are told that the thieves have come to other’s house. While the polypeptide inactivating agent can catch the thief when he is still on his way. This difference can greatly improve the utilization and the efficiency of the medicine."
Zika is transmitted primarily by the Aedes mosquito, but it can also be spread by sexual contact.
Four out of five people infected with the Zika virus never develop symptoms, and when symptoms do occur, they may include fever, joint pain, maculopapular rash, and conjunctivitis.
Currently, no vaccine or treatment is available to prevent or treat Zika virus disease or congenital Zika syndrome in humans.