From Science Daily
October 24, 2018
Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have engineered an antiviral peptide that exploits the Zika virus at its Achilles’ heel — the viral membrane — hence stopping the virus from causing severe infections.
This new method of attacking the viral membrane focuses on directly stopping Zika virus particles rather than preventing the replication of new virus particles, and can potentially work against a wide range of membrane-enveloped viruses.
When administered in Zika-infected mice in the lab, the engineered peptide drug (a compound consisting of amino acids) reduced disease symptoms and the number of deaths. Importantly, the peptide was able to cross the nearly impenetrable blood-brain barrier to tackle viral infection in mouse brains and protect against Zika injury, a critical feature since Zika targets the brain and central nervous system.