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article imageCompounds that control Ebola identified

By Tim Sandle     May 12, 2014 in Science
Compounds that could reduce the ability of viruses that cause diseases such as Ebola, rabies, HIV and Lassa fever to spread infection have been identified.
Researchers have identified several prototypic compounds with the potential to one day serve as broad-spectrum anti-viral drugs. The newly identified prototypic compounds have the potential to one day serve as broad-spectrum anti-viral drugs.
Viruses, which cannot reproduce on their own, hijack host cell proteins and machinery in order to replicate. After doing so, many viruses exit the cell in a process called "budding" in order to infect other cells and spread. The scientists have examined this step in the budding process, attempting to block it and reduce the infection to a level a person's immune system would be able to control more easily.
The identified compounds slow down virus budding. In doing so it is hoped that this will allow an individual’s immune system a chance to develop a robust and a protective response
The research is important for as many as 90 percent of people who contract Ebola die of the disease. Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is the human disease which may be caused by any of four of the five known Ebola viruses. The name comes from Ebola River in Republic of the Congo, where it was first found. One of the common signs of the disease is bleeding from mucous membranes and puncture sites. It is normally fatal.
The research was carried out at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and the findings have been published in the Journal of Virology. The paper is titled “Small Molecule Probes Targeting the Viral PPxY-Host Nedd4 Interface Block Egress of a Broad Range of RNA Viruses.”
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