'Universal antivirus discovered'

In a article published July 27, 2011 in the open-access magazine PLoS One, the researchers tested the drug DRACO against fifteen viruses from completely different groups. They found the drug to be effective against all 15 - including rhinoviruses (which cause the common cold), influenza (flu virus), polio, rotavirus, dengue virus (which causes dengue fever) and various types of bleeding viruses.

Few antivirals so far
The drug acts on a type of RNA that is only produced in cells that are infected by viruses. "In theory, this should work against all viruses," said Todd Rider, along with several other researchers at Lincoln Lab, the inventors of the new technology. The technique intervenes on a universal weakness of all viruses and is therefore very broad spectrum. In theory, this technique can also be used against new, unknown viruses such as the virus that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003, says Rider. This would make the substance one of the very few effective antiviral agents. For example, the few antivirals currently used against HIV are effective against a limited group of viruses. Viruses also develop resistance very quickly.

DRACOs: virus detector linked to suicide protein

Finally a weapon against horrible diseases like Ebola?

Rider based his collection of drugs, DRACOs (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizers), on the existing defense mechanisms of living cells. When viruses enter a cell, they take control of the cell and turn the cell into an assembly line for viruses. During this process, viruses produce double chains of RNA (ds RNA). Every known virus forms ds-RNA at some point in its existence [1]. RNA usually never occurs as a double chain in the human body. DS-RNA therefore immediately induces an immune response in the cell: a cascade of biochemical reactions that fight the virus. However, viruses are often able to block the immune response further down the cascade.
Rider takes a different approach. DRACO consists of a protein that binds to ds RNA, combined with another protein, caspase, that causes cells to commit suicide (apoptosis). Caspase prevents cancer and virus infection in many cases - if a cell is terminally ill, caspase causes the cell to die. When one end of DRACO binds to ds-RNA, the suicide protein on the other end of DRACO becomes active and the cell kills itself. Fellow researchers say the approach is promising. It is virtually impossible for a virus to bypass the ds-RNA phase. This underlies the entire reproductive cycle of almost all viruses (which is very remarkable, by the way). Resistance will therefore not develop quickly.

The DRACOs are also labeled, derived from natural proteins, that allow the drug to cross cell membranes and enter any human or animal cell. If no dsRNA is present, DRACO leaves the cell without damage.

Mice cured of H1N1 influenza virus
Most of the tests with DRACO were performed with human and animal cells in the laboratory, but the researchers also tested DRACO in mice that had the H1N1 influenza virus (the Mexican flu) were infected. DRACO was found not to be toxic to the mice and was found to remove the virus completely. At the moment (August 2011) the researchers are testing DRACO for more virus types in mice and they say they are achieving promising results. There are plans to conduct animal experiments on larger animals and eventually clinical trials on humans. The promises of this remedy are enormous. Tens of millions of deaths are caused by viral diseases every year. Let's hope that an effective medicine will be developed from this.

1. Todd H. Rider et al., Broad spectrum antiviral therapeutics, PLoS ONE (2011)
2. MIT Lincoln Laboratory researchers develop a technique to cure a broad range of viruses, MIT (2011)

16 thoughts on “‘Universeel antivirusmiddel ontdekt’”

  1. “Every year, tens of millions of deaths are caused by viral diseases

    Let nature run it's course .. Great all that innovation, but sometimes it is better not to intervene, certainly not in the current climate in the broadest sense of the word. Or is that very short-sighted…?

  2. MMS is the solution to many health problems. Miracle Multiply Supplement is used with malic or citric acid. Combine these two substances and take it for a few days. The viruses are gone, the infections are gone. Coidal silver / gold is also used to combat viruses and other physical discomforts. This is a bit more expensive but works great !!!

    In a foreseeable time all people are exposed to a high incoming cosmic energy, this energy allows you to heal yourself. Of course you have to believe in yourself !!

  3. Meanwhile on planet Earth

    Dear starseed, here's a world-changing discovery that has the potential to save millions of lives. Could mean an end to sars, influenza, HIV, embola, etc. This discovery could theoretically protect mankind from as yet unknown epidemics ... And you, in response, come up with something that best qualifies as a miracle placebo ? "What you have to believe in of course?" No, this is not a question of explanation, or an invitation to an absurdly tiring discussion. On the contrary, this is a simple expression of total astonishment at what excessive navel gazing can lead to.

  4. That is disastrous.
    There are already too many people on the planet.
    Wars, diseases, Chinese population policy and contraceptives slowed down the increase in people.

  5. Jan van Swaffelaar

    This sounds all the more promising as it could tackle almost all viruses and even none that exist yet. Who ultimately gets it (see the reactions above) is a different matter, that of the rationing of medicines as it is already taking place (secretly). I would especially NOT use it for flu, but for infections with a course with a lot of suffering such as internal bleeding, pain, disorientation, death, etc.

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