New Drug To Combat Chikungunya Virus

New Drug To Combat Chikungunya VirusImage used is for illustration purpose only

Chikungunya is an infectious viral disease which is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes infected with the virus. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Roorkee has claimed to have discovered the drug to combat chikungunya virus.

Researchers have discovered that piperazine, a commonly used deworming drug has anti-viral properties that could lead to finding new therapies against Chikungunya, a deadly, mosquito-borne disease.

From the researchers’ perspective, piperazine helps in inhibiting the spread of the virus and also offers a new perspective for therapeutic intervention. The researchers have basically discovered the anti-viral properties of this drug and also determined a mechanism to combat the disease.

“Developing a new antiviral drug molecule can take over a decade and that is the reason why we are looking at repositioning existing approved drugs and testing these to see if they can inhibit or kill pathogenic viruses,” said Shailly Tomar from the Department of Biotechnology at IIT-Roorkee.

The breakthrough research has shown that piperazine is successful in controlling the spread and replication of the chikungunya virus in a lab setting. “We are currently testing the molecule on animals and hope to take this to clinical trials soon,” said Tomar.

Research talks about the potential of piperazine as a medicinal agent. The researchers said they found that piperazine would bind itself well with the hydrophobic pocket on the alphavirus capsid protein.

“This pocket is key to the replication of the virus and its spread inside a host. This inhibition of this pocket prevents budding and spread of the virus and can help in treating the virus effectively using existing drugs,” researchers said.

Currently, there is no vaccine or anti-viral drug available in the market for the cure of chikungunya. Medicine piperazine offers a new perspective for therapeutic intervention, thereby inhibiting the spread of virus. The study was published in the journal Antiviral Research.

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