Finnish researchers have announced that three influenza antivirals might be effective in staving off Zika virus as well.
Several host cell targets are needed for replication of influenza and many other viruses. In contrast to viral proteins, the host targets are less prone to mutations and thus drugs targeting them could be more effective against viruses, which mutate easily.
A team led by Dr. Denis Kainov from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) and Professor Olli Vapalahti from the Departments of Virology and Veterinary Biosciences, from the University of Helsinki, decided to adopt this approach to test cell-directed compounds for treatment of Zika. In their recent study, published online in the Antiviral Research journal, the researchers showed that antivirals which block influenza virus by targeting host cell factors are also able to inhibit Zika virus infection.
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