IIT Masterminds Invented a New Drug to kill Chikungunya Virus

Chikungunya Virus

Health is wealth, there is nothing in this world more valuable than good health. Nowadays the number of viral diseases are skyrocketing unless and until a real anti-viral medication is discovered for a particular disease. Chikungunya Virus is one of such diseases which is fatal.

Chikungunya the killer disease
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by chikungunya virus. This virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of a virus carrying mosquito called Aedes. The symptoms of this virus include fever, joint pains, and headaches. It is also essential to know that this virus replicates the symptoms of dengue disease. It is despairing to know that this virus lacking a cure. Scientists around the world are painstakingly working to discover medicines for such killer diseases.

New drug to curb Chikungunya virus
Researchers at the Indian Institute Of Technology (IITs)in Roorkee has discovered the mechanism of an existing drug to combat with chikungunya virus. Dr Shailly Tomar of the Biotechnology department at the institute said,

“Chikungunya is gradually becoming a major public health concern, with many affected by it every year. There is no vaccine or antiviral drug available in the market for the cure of chikungunya currently. The treatment focused on relieving the symptoms associated with the virus infection. Developing a new antiviral drug molecule can take over a decade and that is the reason why we are looking at repositioning existing, approved drugs and testing these to see if they might inhibit or kill pathogenic viruses.”

Drug Piperazine
Yes, the magic is in the drug Piperazine which acts as a pharmacotherapeutic agent and inhibits the spread of the chikungunya virus. The potential molecules of Piperazine bind hydrophobic pocket of the capsid protein, present in the chikungunya virus. This new therapeutic intervention curbs chikungunya virus. On a lab study, the research has proved that the drug Piperazine can kill the pathogenic virus. Currently, the research team is testing the Piperazine on animal studies and soon will be validated after clinical trials.

Bottom line
Piperazine is commonly used in deworming treatments against roundworm and pinworm. The research team used X-ray crystallography technique merged with computational biology and fluorescence techniques to find that Piperazine bind hydrophobic pocket of the capsid protein, present in the chikungunya virus. Thus preventing the budding and spreading of the virus. This drug can be effectively used for chikungunya treatment with existing drugs.