Synthetic elements developed to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 virus : The Tribune India

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Tribune News Service

Vijay Mohan

Chandigarh, July 13

A new class of synthetic elements has been developed that not only block the entry of SARS-CoV-2 virus into body cells, but also clump the virus particles together, thereby reducing their ability to spread infection. This novel approach can provide an alternative mechanism to render viruses like Corona inactive.

The rapid emergence of new strains of SARS-CoV-2 virus has diminished the protection offered by various Covid-19 vaccines. This mandated a fresh approach to check infection by this virus and the new class of peptides, which is a form of amino acid produced by the body, appears to be promising antivirals.

It is an established fact that protein-protein interaction is often like that of a lock and a key. This interaction can be hampered by synthetic peptide that mimics, competes with and prevents the key from binding to the lock and vice versa.

Scientists at the Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, in collaboration with researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, have exploited this approach to design peptides that can bind to and block the spike protein on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 virus. This binding was further characterised extensively by various biophysical methods. The researchers tested the peptide for toxicity in mammalian cells in the laboratory and found it to be safe.

When hamsters were administered doses of the peptide and exposed to a high dose of SARS-CoV-2 virus, they showed decreased viral load and much lower cell damage in the lungs as compared to hamsters exposed only to the virus, the statement added.

Strains reduced vax protection

The rapid emergence of new strains of SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has caused havoc across the globe over the past two-and-a-half years, has diminished the protection offered by various Covid-19 vaccines.



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