Zika, a mosquito-borne flavivirus, causes neurological disorders and microcephaly in newborns whose mothers were infected by the virus. No drugs are yet available to prevent mother-to-child transmission of Zika virus or to prevent new virus infections in high-risk populations. In a study published online on September 6 in the journal EBioMedicine, Felipe Diaz-Griffero, Ph.D., and colleagues found that the small molecule 6-deoxyglucose-diphyllin (DGP) potently inhibits Zika virus at very low concentrations in human cells and in mice, while causing no detectable toxicity. DGP also exhibited broad-spectrum activity by blocking other disease-causing flaviviruses in vitro, including dengue virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, and Japanese encephalitis virus. The researchers found that DGP prevents virus entry into cells by inhibiting the acidification of endosomes (membrane-bound vesicles in the cytoplasm). Dr. Diaz-Griffero is professor of microbiology & immunology and the Elsie Wachtel Faculty Scholar at Einstein.
Posted on: Monday, September 23, 2019