Shark liver compound could treat dengue, hepatitisSeptember 20th, 2011 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS
London, Sep 20 (IANS) A shark liver compound could be used to treat dengue, yellow fever and hepatitis, say experts.
Michael Zasloff, from Georgetown University, US, who led the study, said: “To realise that squalamine potentially has broad antiviral properties is immensely exciting.”
Researchers found in both lab and animal experiments that squalamine triggered antiviral activity against human pathogens found in some forms of hepatitis, which are not treatable.
This discovery might explain how and why sharks with primitive immune systems can stave off viruses that plague all living creatures, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
Zasloff said: “Squalamine appears to protect against viruses that attack the liver and blood tissues, and other similar compounds that we know exist in the shark likely protect against respiratory viral infections, and so on.”
“We may be able to harness the shark’s novel immune system to turn all of these antiviral compounds into agents that protect humans against a wide variety of viruses.”
“That would be revolutionary. While many antibacterial agents exist, doctors have few antiviral drugs to help their patients, and few of those are broadly active.”
Zasloff discovered squalamine in 1993 and it has already been used in clinical trials to treat cancer and several eye disorders.
- Scientists identify molecule that flicks on immune system - May 21, 2012
- Vaccine-delivering nanoparticles may help fight HIV, malaria - Feb 23, 2011
- New therapy could help beat Hepatitis C virus - Jan 17, 2012
- Built-in dengue virus killer found in humans - Jun 24, 2012
- Novel inhaled drug found effective against H5N1 avian influenza virus - Feb 26, 2010
- Hepatitis C vaccine undergoing trials - Aug 16, 2012
- Munching on almonds can stave off infections - Nov 01, 2010
- Novel anti-shingles agent developed - Apr 22, 2011
- Experimental compound found effective against deadly bird flu - Dec 22, 2009
- New medicine fights bird flu better - Dec 22, 2009
- White button mushrooms 'keep immune system healthy' - Jul 30, 2010
- Trials start on potent new hepatitis C drug - May 15, 2010
- New vaccine technology shows promise against hepatitis C virus - Feb 24, 2011
- Protein that may fight against inflammatory disease identified - Oct 21, 2010
- Diarrhea-causing bacteria turned into antiviral gene therapy agent - Feb 08, 2011
Tags: animal experiments, antibacterial agents, antiviral activity, antiviral compounds, antiviral drugs, antiviral properties, clinical trials, daily mail, eye disorders, georgetown university, hepatitis, human pathogens, immune system, immune systems, liver, respiratory viral infections, sharks, squalamine, viruses, yellow fever