Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Research at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore has published a report stating that a compound has been obtained from plants that can stop the progression of virus infection. The research was led by Dr. Hem Chandra Jha, Associate Professor at IITI and included scholars Deeksha Tiwari, Omkar Indari, Scientist Ms. Sneha Murmu and Dr. Sunil Kumar from Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, New Delhi. The aim was to explore plant-based medication for viral diseases and is published in the international journal of Chemistry and Biodiversity.
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) infection is associated with fatal outcomes such as gastric cancer and various neurological disorders like Alzheimers and Multiple Sclerosis. The investigation revealed that among various phytochemicals taken under study, one of the compounds, Dehydroevodiamine (DHE), could bind with the viral dUTPase and block its functioning, thereby causing hindrance in viral replication and propagation. Dr. Jha, said “Despite the global penetrance of the virus and severity of associated diseases, there is no FDA-approved treatment available for this viral infection. Our investigation tried to find plant-based compounds that can be used to stop the spread of this virus. We aimed to target a viral protein which helps in its replication and reactivation, thereby possibly hindering its normal functioning. The current treatment regimens are chemical based and thus harmful to our health. However, the plant-based compound we found can be used to develop side effects free medication.”
Dr. Sunil Kumar said “The plant compound is already well known to have beneficial effects on humans. DHE has been used for its neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties. The preliminary study paves the way for future drug development against the viral infection.”