AEG12 inhibits family of viruses
Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Biodiversity; Sci & Tech
- According to scientists at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborator, a mosquito protein, called AEG12, strongly inhibits the family of viruses that cause yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, and Zika, and also weakly inhibits coronaviruses,
- The researchers found that AEG12 works by destabilising the viral envelope, breaking its protective covering.
- The protein does not affect viruses that do not have an envelope.
- At the molecular level, AEG12 rips out the lipids
- The findings could lead to therapeutics against viruses that affect millions of people around the world.
- While the researchers demonstrated that AEG12 was most effective against flaviviruses — the family of viruses to which Zika, West Nile, and others belong — they felt it is possible AEG12 could be effective against SARS-CoV-2.
- But, it will take years of bioengineering to make AEG12 a viable therapy for Covid-19.