Newly identified compound could stop smallpox

Scientists from the Boston University School of Medicine recently identified a compound that stops viruses from replicating.

The researchers, who collaborated with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, believe their findings could lead to the development of compounds that could potentially inhibit the spread of poxviruses, according to CIDRAP News.

The study, which has been published online in the Journal of Virology, involved experiments on the emerging infectious disease Monkeypox.

Poxviruses, including smallpox, the vaccinia virus and the Monkeypox virus, replicate inside host cells after invading them. Utilizing state of the art screening techniques, the scientists were able to identify several compounds that could stop the replication process of vaccinia virus once it was inside human cells.

After focusing their attention on one of these compounds, they were able to understand how it inactivated a critical piece of viral machinery.

USAMRIID researchers then tested the compound’s efficacy on the Monkeypox virus and demonstrated similar results.

"The compound we identified forces the catastrophic failure of the normal virus amplification cycle and illustrates a new drug-accessible restriction point for poxviruses in general," Dr. John Connor of BUSM said, CIDRAP News reports. "This can help us in developing new compounds that fight poxviruses infection."