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Study: Enzyme inhibitors block SARS virus

Posted by tumicrobiology on March 28, 2006

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and in Taiwan have found enzyme inhibitors that can block replication of the SARS virus.

Study leader Chi-Huey Wong of the Skaggs Institute of Chemical Biology and director of the Scripps Research lab said the finding is an important step in developing a drug treatment for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

"We have been working on the problem of SARS since the epidemic started in 2003," Wong said. "This new class of inhibitors represents the most potent SARS virus protease inhibitors known today."

SARS emerged in rural China in 2002 and eventually spread to 32 nations, according to the World Health Organization. SARS is caused by a ring-shaped virus known as a coronavirus and suspected of originating in animal populations before migrating to humans.

There is no effective treatment or vaccine.

The study was conducted at Scripps Research, the Genomics Research Center in Taiwan, and the National Taiwan University. It appears in the current issue of the journal Chemistry and Biology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

(TUMDF posted this news here for TU Microbiologists)

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