UCM researchers find inhibition qualities of fullerene structures

Researchers have developed a fullerene system that inhibits Ebola virus spread. | Courtesy of UCM
Researchers from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), the Université de Strasbourg in France and Université de Namur of Belgium have found a fullerene system capable of inhibiting the Ebola virus, they announced Monday.

These fullerenes are a complex collection of carbon atoms that, when combined with specific sugar compounds, have been shown to block the key entry point that the virus uses in order to infect the cells in the human body. In the study, they utilized an artificial form of the virus that is able to infect cells but not capable of replication.

According to the team of researchers led by Nazario Martín, UCM professor of organic chemistry, blocking this receptor may lead to a method to blocking the spread of the virus and to enhance the immunological response to similar infections. Further research in this area is required in vivo in order to determine whether this could lead to developments of treatment or countermeasure candidates.

"This work open the door to the design and preparation of new systems to inhibit the pathogens infection in cases where the current therapies are not effective or are [nonexistent], [as] with the ebola virus," Martín said.

This study was published in Nature Chemistry journal.

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