Study shows Brazilian viper venom may become tool in fight against COVID-19

WION Web Team
Brasilia, Brazil Published: Sep 01, 2021, 10:29 AM(IST)

Pit viper called 'mountain fer-de-lance' Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

Researchers in Brazil have found that a molecule in the venom of a type of snake called jararacussu pit has inhibited coronavirus reproduction in monkey cells and can multiply by 75 per cent

A study has shown that venom of Brazilian vipers may become a significant tool in the fight against coronavirus pandemic.

Researchers in Brazil have found that a molecule in the venom of a type of snake called jararacussu pit has inhibited coronavirus reproduction in monkey cells and can multiply by 75 per cent.

The study published in the scientific journal Molecules, said that the molecule is a peptide, or chain of amino acids, that can connect to an enzyme of the coronavirus called PLPro, which is vital to reproduction of the virus, without hurting other cells.

The peptide already known for its antibacterial qualities can be synthesised in the laboratory.

Hoping to test the substance in human cells, scientists will next evaluate the efficiency of different doses of the molecule.

According to a statement from the State University of Sao Paulo (Unesp), only evacuation can verify if it is able to prevent the virus from entering cells in the first place.

The jararacussu is one of the largest snakes in Brazil, measuring up to 6 feet (2 metres) long. It lives in the coastal Atlantic Forest and is also found in Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina.

(With inputs from agencies)

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