June 4, 2018
Researchers believe they’ve found something to stop the Zika virus from attacking fetuses. It’s a common drug that’s been around for years.
Professor Alysson Muotri never thought he’d find a potential cure for Zika in his stem cell lab at UCSD. He started searching for a virus like Zika and he found one in early 2016.
Muotri, Phd, Stem Cell Program Director, UC San Diego School of Medicine, says, “When we aligned the genome or the genetic material from the hepatitis c virus and the Zika virus, we noticed that they are from the same family and they share a region that is very similar between these two.”
It’s the region the viruses use to replicate. Muotri tested the hepatitis c drug Sofosbuvir on brain stem cell models he calls “mini brains.”
Muotri continues, “The moms got very clean from the virus. There is no circulating virus in the body, and as a consequence, the fetuses are protected.”