Novel organic chemical compound was found to be effective in antiviral activity against Ebola virus and several other viruses, according to a study led by Georgia State University
The new compound named benzoquinoline was found to inhibit the ability of Ebola virus to multiply and reproduce in cell culture. The findings of the study was published in the journal Antiviral Research. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Ebola virus, belongs to filovirus class. It is an enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus that causes severe disease in humans. The largest outbreak on record for the filovirus family was caused by Ebola virus in West Africa between 2013 and 2016, resulting in more than 28,000 infections and more than 11,000 deaths.
As a part of the study, the researchers screened a library of 200,000 small molecule compounds to identify potential inhibitors of Ebola virus RNA synthesis. The study reported 56 hits that inhibited Ebola virus activity by more than 70%, while showing less than a 20 percent chance of being toxic to cells. They discovered three chemical structures with potent antiviral activity against Ebola virus in cell culture. Human lung epithelial cells and human embryonic kidney cells were exposed to several viruses, Ebola virus, Marburg virus, vesicular stomatitis virus and Zika virus, and the antiviral effects of the three chemical structures were observed.
Benzoquinoline was found to have potential inhibiting activity against Ebola virus and was also active against another deadly filovirus, Marburg virus. Benzoquinoline was also effective against vesicular stomatitis virus from the rhabdovirus family, which can infect insects, cattle, horses and pigs, and Zika virus, which is spread to humans by mosquitoes. However, there are no approved drugs to treat Ebola virus or other filovirus infections, so there is a critical need for new therapeutic approaches. This study highlights potential antiviral target in the viral machinery and activities involved in carrying out RNA synthesis for Ebola virus.