New Research Promises To Stop Some Sand Viruses From Infecting Humans

- Jan 16, 2020-

Researchers from institutions such as the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have published a paper in a new issue of the British journal Nature. They said they have developed a new type of molecule that is expected to prevent certain sand viruses from infecting humans.



Sand virus is a general term for a group of viruses. They are often found in animals, and some of them may infect humans. For example, Junin virus and Machupo virus, which are usually transmitted in rodents, are sand viruses. These two viruses can infect humans, cause symptoms similar to Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and can cause death in severe cases. Lack of effective treatments.


Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science and other institutions analyzed various sand viruses carried by rodents and found that their viral structures are highly compatible with receptors on rodent cells. For the relevant receptors on human cells, some viruses cannot bind to them and therefore cannot infect humans, but some viruses can barely bind to human cell-related receptors, so they can infect humans.


The researchers took a similar "surgery" approach, removing the relevant receptor site on rodent cells and placing it on a harmless antibody molecule to obtain a molecule called Arenacept. Experiments have shown that it can effectively "seduce" the virus to combine with it to make the virus leave human cells. In addition, it can stimulate the immune response of the body's immune system.


According to reports, Arenacept molecules are non-toxic, heat-resistant, and stable in performance, which is conducive to being sent to remote areas where related diseases are prevalent after being made into drugs. The researchers said that the molecule may be effective against multiple viruses that infect humans with the same receptors in grit virus, and medical clinical trials are planned next.