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Brazil experts reveal snakebite venom could prevent Covid-19

Brazil experts reveal snakebite venom could prevent Covid-19

Brasilia, Aug 25 (Prensa Latina) Brazilian scientists discovered that the venom of the Jararacusú snake, responsible for 90% of bite poisonings in the country, would inhibit the coronavirus action, according to researchers at the Institute of Chemistry of São Paulo Júlio de Mesquita Filho State University.
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According to R7 news portal, the researchers separated a peptide (piece of protein) from the venom and applied it to monkey cells. After one hour, SARS-CoV-2 was introduced into the experiment.

Scientists found that coronavirus´ reproductive capacity was reduced by 75%. The trial was published last week on the Molecules international scientific journal.

Such a discovery could help the production of a specific drug to treat coronavirus-infected people.

Researchers are aimed at developing a drug to fight Covid-19, not generating adverse reactions to those who use it.

One of the main authors, Prof. Eduardo Maffud Cilli stated that the first results were encouraging.

‘We found a peptide that is not toxic to cells, but inhibits replication of the virus. With this, if the compound becomes a drug in the future, the body would buy time to act and create the necessary antibodies,’ Cilli argued.

The Jararacusú is the second largest snake in Brazil and lives in the southern and southeastern regions, as well as in the states of Bahia and Mato Grosso do Sul. Its envenomation causes bleeding, swelling and destruction of tissues in the area of the bite.

pgh/Pll/msm / ocs

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