Wednesday November 13, 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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cases of dengue
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.”

 

 

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Impaired Liver Function During Pregnancy Leads To Obese Kids

Impaired liver function during pregnancy increases the risks of obesity in kids

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Pregnancy
Impaired liver function during pregnancy may increase the risk of obesity in children. PIxabay

Impaired liver function during pregnancy may alter gut bacteria composition and increase the risk of obesity in children, according to a new study.

In a rodent of model of the most common liver disease in pregnancy, the composition of gut bacteria in offspring was altered and liver function impaired, particularly when they were fed a Western-style, high-fat diet.

“These findings further suggest that health during pregnancy can have long-term effects on children. In this case they suggest that gut microbiome alterations, may increase the risk of obesity in children, when fed a western style, high-fat diet, ” said study researcher Caroline Ovadia from King’s College London.

The most common liver disease in pregnancy, intrahepatic cholestasis (ICP), reduces the release of digestive fluid bile from the liver causing bile acids to build up in the blood, impairing liver function. This causes severe itching in the mother and increases risks of stillbirth and preterm birth for the baby.

pregnancy
In a rodent of model of the most common liver disease in pregnancy, the composition of gut bacteria in offspring was altered and liver function impaired. Pixabay

Previous studies suggest that children of women with ICP are more likely to develop childhood obesity.

For the findings, the research team investigated how gut microbiota are affected in the offspring of a mouse model of ICP.

The results reported that the offspring had a different gut microbiome composition and liver function, particularly when fed a high-fat diet, which could contribute to impaired metabolism and increase risk of obesity.

The results suggest that mice born to mothers with ICP, or other liver diseases, may benefit from maintaining a healthy diet and should avoid fatty foods.

These findings also suggest that targeting microbiome composition with treatment strategies in pregnant women, such as using pre-biotics or pro-biotics, could help prevent the risk of child obesity.

Also Read- Parents With Only Child More Likely To Tackle Obese Kids

“Understanding changes in composition of the gut microbiome and their effects may provide new ways of diagnosing patients at particular risk of obesity before it occurs. We could then develop personalised medicine and target appropriate treatments to alter gut bacteria accordingly,” Ovadia added.

The study was presented at The Society for Endocrinology Annual Conference in the UK. (IANS)