Researchers have found that a molecule in the venom of a type of Snake inhibited coronavirus reproduction in monkey cells, a possible first step toward a drug to combat the virus causing Covid-19. This study was published in journal molecules.The study found that the molecule produced by the jararacussu pit viper inhibited the virus’s ability to multiply in monkey cells by 75%. Rafael Guido, a University of Sao Paulo professor and an author of the study said that they were able to show this component of Snake venom was able to inhibit a very important protein from the virus.
The molecule is a peptide, or chain of amino acids, that can connect to an enzyme of the coronavirus called PLPro, which is vital to the reproduction of the virus, without hurting other cells. Guido said that It is known for its antibacterial qualities, the peptide can be synthesized in the laboratory, making the capture or raising of the Snake unnecessary.
Researchers will next evaluate the efficiency of different doses of the molecule and whether it can prevent the virus from entering cells in the first place, according to a statement from the State University of Sao Paulo, which was also involved in the research.