Tuesday April 23, 2019

You May Soon Be Able to Prevent Chikungunya With Vaccines! IIT-Roorkee Researchers Discover Drug to Fight the Disease

At present, there are no immunizations or anti-viral medications available to cure Chikungunya, and the treatment is focused on mitigating the side effects related with the disease

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Dengue and Chikungunya are viral diseases transmitted to humans via infected mosquitoes. Pixabay

Roorkee, October 9, 2017 : Dengue and Chikungunya are known to strike fear in the country every year, so much so that the health graph of the city registers a steep rise in these cases. Both of the water-borne diseases, characterized by high fever and pain in the joints, take a toll on our lives. So far, there is no vaccine to immunize people against the spread of the Dengue and Chikungunya virus. However, researchers at IIT-Roorkee have now discovered that a commonly-utilized de-worming drug can be efficiently used for treatments against Chikungunya.

According to a report by PTI, Shailly Tomar, lead researcher and a professor at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee in Uttarakhand was quoted as saying, “Our research has shown that piperazine, a drug existing in the market, is successful in curbing the spread and replication of the Chikungunya virus in a lab setting.”

The drug, Piperazine, is usually used in de-worming treatments against round-words and pinworms. Using their expertise in virology and structure biology, experts have now discovered the anti-viral capabilities of the drug that can potentially prompt new therapies against the fatal, mosquito borne disease.

The researchers are currently testing the molecule on animals, and will consequently take it to clinical trials.

ALSO READ What preventive steps have the city Government taken to control Dengue and Chikungunya, asks the Delhi High Court

The molecular details uncovered in the study, which has been published in the journal Antiviral Research, will be additionally used to plan piperazine-derivative medications that are more compelling to fight against the Chikungunya virus.

Using X-ray crystallographic technique, in combination with computational science and fluorescence strategies, the researchers discovered that piperazine binds itself with the hydrophobic (water-hating) pocket of capsid protein present in the Chikungunya virus, which can reduce the spread of the virus.

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

Chikungunya has become a major public health concern, with an increasing number of people being plagued by the disease every year.

 At present, there are no immunizations or anti-viral medications available to cure Chikungunya, and the treatment is focused on mitigating the side effects related with the disease. 

Developing a new anti-viral drug molecule can take up to 10 years. To tend to the disease on an immediate basis, Professor Tomar added, “We are looking at repositioning existing, approved drugs and testing these to see if they might inhibit or kill pathogenic viruses.”

 

 

Next Story

Measles Spread in Google’s Headquarters, Employees Discussing Ways To Protect Themselves

A select group of employees learned about the incident more than a week later, on April 13, when a company doctor emailed them about the infected the employee, the report said. 

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Later, however, the staff doctor sent a message to multiple internal groups at Google, reassuring a that they were safe while acknowledging that his communication had been "slow". Pixabay

Executives at Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters are discussing ways to protect themselves and their families from measles after one of them was found working at the office despite being infected by the highly contagious virus.

On Google’s internal forums, employees expressed shock because they were not told sooner about their sick colleague who had been spending time in its Mountain View office building — including a campus restaurant, BuzzFeed News reported on Thursday.

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Public health experts blame the uptick partially on the spread of anti-vaccine falsehoods on social media platforms, including Google’s YouTube, which, under public pressure, recently removed ads from known anti-vaccine video channels, the report said. Pixabay

The employee was present in the office on April 4.

A select group of employees learned about the incident more than a week later, on April 13, when a company doctor emailed them about the infected the employee, the report said.

Later, however, the staff doctor sent a message to multiple internal groups at Google, reassuring a that they were safe while acknowledging that his communication had been “slow”.

The reported case is part of a historic resurgence of measles in the US.

google
On Google’s internal forums, employees expressed shock because they were not told sooner about their sick colleague who had been spending time in its Mountain View office building — including a campus restaurant, BuzzFeed News reported on Thursday. Pixabay

Also Read: Apple’s Recycling Robot Is Capable of Disassembling 200 iPhones Per Hour
At least 555 people have been infected this year by the virus, which was declared eliminated in 2000, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Public health experts blame the uptick partially on the spread of anti-vaccine falsehoods on social media platforms, including Google’s YouTube, which, under public pressure, recently removed ads from known anti-vaccine video channels, the report said.  (IANS)