HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS CONFERENCE CALENDAR
LATEST UPDATES » Volume 20, No. 5, May 2016 – Healthcare Systems & Policies in Asia       » Understanding Healthcare Policies in the Philippines: Cancer Care       » Young Innovators under 35       » Healthcare Cost Effectiveness in Singapore       » ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Opens China Office       » A Journey Inside the Human Body       » Treatment Brings New Hope for Patients Suffering From Fatal Lung Disease      
BIOBOARD - MALAYSIA
Marine bacterial compound shows antiviral potential
Scientists have obtained a compound with antiviral properties from marine bacteria found off the coast of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea.

The compound — antimycin A1a — displayed potent activity against a range of viruses, including the western equine encephalitis virus and RNA viruses from the Togaviridae family.

There are about 30 'alphaviruses' in the Togaviridae family that cause "significant diseases" in humans and animals all over the world, the study says. Encephalitic alphaviruses can kill up to 70 per cent of people they infect and leave most survivors with long-term neurological damage.

In their paper, the researchers note there are currently no licensed vaccines or antiviral drugs for alphavirus infections, resulting in a "pressing need" to identify new antiviral compounds.

The isolated compound is generated by a novel marine bacteria Streptomyces kaviengensis. In addition to displaying antiviral properties when tested on cultured cells, the compound was also able to reduce disease severity and enable the survival of some mice that had been infected with what is normally a lethal dose of western equine encephalitis virus.

The study received funding support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the United States' National Institutes of Health.

Principal investigator David Miller says the concept behind the research was to use the "ability of microorganisms to produce compounds of incredible and nearly limitless complexity" in the search for new drugs to treat viral infections similar to the way that many current antibiotics treat a wide range of infections.

Fatimah Md Yusoff, head of the Institute of Bioscience Laboratory of Marine Biotechnology at Putra University Malaysia, agrees that marine products offer great potential for drug discoveries.

"Marine natural products derived from plants — seaweeds, sea grasses and microalgae — and animals, especially invertebrates, fishes and microorganisms, have the potential to provide a vast array of chemical structures to be explored and discovered," she says. "These marine resources have great potential for antiviral drug development. But more studies are needed to understand not only their structure and effects, but also their effective antiviral application in humans."

Although antimycin A1a has shown antiviral activity in current tests, Miller was unable to give a timeline for drug development. He says the process takes years and is never certain.

"There are many steps involved and failure could occur at any of them," he says.

Zhen Yue
Source: Science Development Network

Click here for the complete issue.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news Gather China & World Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs, Create a New Chapter of Chinese Pharma Industry
news Mundipharma's New Betadine® Facility to Meet Regional Healthcare Challenges
news STRATASYS launches World's First Full-ColoUr Multi-material 3D PRINTER - THE J750 - In Singapore
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  
COLUMNS  
APBN Editorial Calendar 2016
January:
Guest Editorial - Biotechnology In Korea
February:
Guest Editorial - Biomedical Research Governance
March:
Guest Editorial - Life-Saving Opportunities: A Guide to Regenerative Medicine
April:
Leading-Edge ONCOLOGY
May:
Healthcare Systems & Policies in Asia
June:
Medical Devices and Digital Health Technology
July:
Water Technology
August:
Guest Editorial - Antibody Informatics In Japan
September:
Infectious Diseases
October:
Medical Tourism
November:
Biomedical Imaging Technology
December:
Food Technology
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
– Editor: Carmen, Jia Wen Loh
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» Editorial Enquiries: biotech_edit@wspc.com
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   Ms PoPo Kwok or Ms Sok Ching Lim/td>
Copyright© 2015 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy