Researchers from the Universities of Melbourne, York, Warwick and Oxford have shed light on how encapsulated viruses like hepatitis B, dengue and SARS-CoV-2 hijack the protein manufacturing and distribution pathways in the cell — they have also identified a potential broad spectrum anti-viral drug target to stop them in their tracks.
The findings have been published in PNAS today and are important to efforts to develop broad-spectrum antiviral agents.
Professor Spencer Williams from the School of Chemistry at Bio21 said the research will help define a new ‘host-directed’ approach for treating infections by encapsulated viruses.
“One approach to treating viral infections is to make a new drug for each virus that comes along. But it is slow. An alternative and attractive approach is to make a drug against a human target that viruses need to replicate. The same drug can then be used and reused against many different viruses, even