Cancer And Hepatitis C Medicines Can Kill Zika Virus

Posted: Aug 30 2016, 12:04pm CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Cancer and Hepatitis C Medicines can Kill Zika Virus
This image shows Zika virus infection in cell death in human forebrain organoids. Credit: Xuyu Qian, Johns Hopkins University
  • Cancer and Hepatitis C Medicine can Eradicate Zika Virus in Petri Dish Form

Apparently it so happens to be the case that cancer and hepatitis C medicine can eradicate the Zika virus in petri dish form. What remains to be seen is whether these drugs can kill the virus in real live human beings who are infected with the ailment.

Researchers have discovered that three drugs meant to treat cancer, hepatitis C and parasite infections can kill the Zika virus in a petri dish. The petri dishes contained human cells and they were kept in a lab setting.

This sort of treatment shows immense promise. Zika has a reputation of being a very devastating disease. Yet here was proof that it could be annihilated at a stroke by some very powerful drugs.

The drugs not only allowed the human cells in the petri dishes to attain a long life but reversed the damage done to them by the scourge that is the Zika virus.

The news was reported in Nature Medicine on Aug. 29.

While it may be cause for excitement, much of the research needs to be corroborated and we don’t need to get our hopes too high just yet.

The drugs will need to be road-tested in animals before they could be administered to human beings. If the replication of the tests in animals is a success, human beings are next in line. This will be the ultimate acid test.

While in the petri dish, the drugs work miracles and wonders, whether this will be the case in the much more natural and chaotic environment that is the human body remains a big question mark.

It remains a riddle whether niclosamide, which treats parasites in the GI tract, can get to the central nervous system of an unborn infant’s brain. Such queries still dog the steps of the scientists.

Also whether the drugs could attack and vanquish the whole series of changes brought about by the Zika virus remains to be seen. These symptoms include microcephaly and paralysis of the gut.

Whether the damaged brain of the infant can be brought back to normal functioning inside the infected mother’s womb remains an enigma. The answers will only emerge with the passage of time.

These drugs that show promise in treating the Zika virus have been selected from 6000 medicines. Also side by side with this research, the experts are looking for a drug that will be a surefire solution to the Ebola virus.

The three drugs are: PHA-690509, emricasan and the previously mentioned niclosamide. The petri dish human cell cultures were rather like mini-brains. What effects the drugs will have on a real live human being is a part of the unknown and thus resistant to analysis at the present moment.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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