The basic research was led by Doctor Ken Dower and Doctor John Connor. They worked with the Centre for Chemical Methodology and Library Development (CMLD) and with the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), who conducted the experiments involving Monkey pox at their laboratory in Maryland.
Poxviruses, such as smallpox, vaccinia virus and the Monkey pox virus, invade host cells and replicate, causing disease. Smallpox, a deadly poxvirus that killed hundreds of millions of people worldwide, was declared eradicated by the World Health Organisation in 1979 after successful vaccination efforts. Recent data shows that the number of people being infected by Monkey pox is increasing globally.
Utilising state of the art screening techniques, vaccinia and a library of chemicals from CMLD, Dower and his colleagues looked for compounds that could stop vaccinia from replicating inside human cells. They identified several. In studying how one of these compounds work, they discovered that the virus can enter the cell in its presence, but once the virus was inside, the compound inactivates an essential piece of virus machinery.
USAMRIID researchers then tested the efficacy of the chemical compound on the Monkey pox virus. Their experiments demonstrated similar results, showing that this chemical compound has the ability to inhibit different varieties of poxviruses.
“The compound we identified forces the catastrophic failure of the normal virus amplification cycle and illustrates a new drug-accessible restriction point for poxviruses in general,” said Connor. “This can help us in developing new compounds that fight poxviruses infection.”
MEDICA.de; Source: Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM)