New hope for Ebola virus cure

New hope for Ebola virus cure
Published: 2014 August 01 10:07:36 (12975 Views)
A plant has been found to halt the deadly Ebola virus in its tracks in laboratory tests, scientists have said.

If the anti-Ebola compound proves successful in animal and human trials, it will be the first medicine to successfully treat the virus that causes Ebola haemorrhagic fever - an often-fatal condition.

The discovery was announced at the 16th International Botanical Congress in St Louis in the US.

The Ebola virus was first documented in 1976 after an outbreak in Zaire - now the Democratic Republic of the Congo - where 88% of the 318 human cases died.

More recently, a 1995 outbreak in the same country had a death rate of 81% of the 315 infected.

There are four types of the virus - Ebola-Zaire, Ebola-Sudan and Ebola-Ivory Coast all affect humans, while Ebola-Reston has so far only affected monkeys and chimpanzees.

However, doctors have been unable to stop the virus once infection has taken hold - hence the disease has gained a terrifying reputation.

Dr Maurice Iwu, who set up and heads the Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme, led the research.

It started 10 years ago when researchers were led to the plant by traditional native healers who have used the plant for the treatment of infectious diseases for centuries.

"This is a very exciting discovery," said Dr Iwu, who himself comes originally from a family of traditional healers.



"The same forest that yields the dreaded Ebola virus could be a source of the cure."

The virus multiplies rapidly in the human body and quickly overwhelms it, and in advanced cases the patient develops high fever and severe bleeding.

The Garcinia kola compound has been shown to halt multiplication of the virus in the laboratory.

If repeated in humans, this would give the body a chance to fight off the virus.

The active compound is what is known as a dimeric flavonoid, which is two flavonoid molecules fused together.

Flavonoids are non-toxic and can be found in orange and lemon rinds as well as the colourings of other plants.

The tests are in the early stages still, but the researchers hope that if they continue to prove successful the compound the US Food and Drug Administration will put it on a fast track - making a drug available to humans within a matter of years.

"The discovery of these important properties in a simple compound - flavonoids - was very surprising," said Dr Iwu.

"The structure of this compound lends itself to modification, so it provides a template for future work.

"Even if this particular drug does not succeed through the whole drug approval process, we can use it to construct a new drug for this deadly disease."



Source - BBC

Tags: Ebola, virus, cure,
 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

| Comment With Facebook Submit

There are no comments.

News Big Reads

Bird Box finally unveils unknown monsters

by Metro | 2019 January 06 00:20:32 | 7719 Views

Man in critical condition after 'blowing himself up while trying to raid ATM'

by June Mpofu | 2018 December 11 19:39:39 | 17254 Views

Murder suspect pretending to be mute loses voice from underuse

by June Mpofu | 2018 December 11 19:39:46 | 13465 Views

Harrods accidentally sold £1,000 bags for less than £10

by June Mpofu | 2017 December 16 15:42:54 | 13264 Views

Rapper 'whips out' manhood on Instagram

by June Mpofu | 2017 October 31 08:36:03 | 14913 Views

Woman raped in the street as people walk past

by June Mpofu | 2017 October 27 22:04:42 | 15495 Views

Student who inhaled 360 laughing gas canisters in a week may never walk again

by June Mpofu | 2017 October 20 08:05:52 | 15284 Views

Poet tweets that she was raped by SA musician

by Hope Freedom | 2017 October 07 23:02:51 | 15819 Views

Dog bites off chunk of woman's face

by June Mpofu | 2017 September 23 09:04:56 | 14763 Views

Man jailed after tricking children into abusing young relatives

by Prince Cox | 2017 September 06 08:00:14 | 16076 Views

'I gave lift to a ghost' says taxi driver

by June Mpofu | 2017 September 04 18:39:39 | 31525 Views

Son 'stabbed mum to death and ate her heart with a side of chutney'

by June Mpofu | 2017 September 01 20:10:25 | 16714 Views

'Cannibal tired of eating human flesh' hands himself in

by June Mpofu | 2017 August 24 07:59:37 | 15062 Views

Man cut off pregnant girlfriend's nipples with a pair of scissors

by June Mpofu | 2017 August 20 10:24:38 | 16388 Views

Pregnant woman murdered in 'satanic ritual'

by June Mpofu | 2017 August 20 01:27:16 | 17303 Views

No diplomatic immunity for Grace Mugabe after 'splitting open model's head'

by Hope Freedom | 2017 August 15 08:30:38 | 20276 Views

8-year-old dies after cousin dares her to drink boiling water through straw

by June Mpofu | 2017 August 05 10:10:31 | 17094 Views

Girl, 14, was raped twice in one night by different men

by June Mpofu | 2017 July 29 17:06:36 | 16551 Views

Girl, 10, told she can't have abortion after being raped by uncle

by Hope Freedom | 2017 July 22 16:54:59 | 17109 Views

Obsessive woman chases police car helping boyfriend escape her

by June Mpofu | 2017 July 15 21:27:10 | 13887 Views

Man hijacked while peeing

by June Mpofu | 2017 July 08 10:46:55 | 20360 Views

Disabled woman tied to tractor and beaten to death by mob

by Hope Freedom | 2017 July 03 23:10:47 | 21269 Views

Man spends 5 years renovating boat, it sinks as soon as it goes on water

by June Mpofu | 2017 June 30 22:42:43 | 13930 Views

Woman paralysed after having sex

by June Mpofu | 2017 June 26 21:03:25 | 16507 Views

Woman cuts off boyfriend's privates 'after he refused to marry her'

by Prince Cox | 2017 June 24 20:36:31 | 21217 Views

Cancer patient charged with plotting to kill doctors

by June Mpofu | 2017 June 08 09:57:59 | 14849 Views

Former Premier League star dies after collapsing in training

by June Mpofu | 2017 June 05 18:08:44 | 21318 Views

Mugabe 'will decide who goes to heaven' says Zanu-PF youth leader

by June Mpofu | 2017 June 03 09:04:32 | 15071 Views

Daughter had sex with father to stop him from marrying fiancee

by June Mpofu | 2017 June 01 17:52:29 | 16269 Views

Man splits from wife who raped him as boy

by June Mpofu | 2017 May 31 11:53:24 | 18543 Views

Human head trial set to go ahead after delay

by June Mpofu | 2017 May 30 21:23:34 | 14886 Views

American girl, 11, forced to marry rapist

by June Mpofu | 2017 May 29 14:28:03 | 16945 Views

Fed up residents hold Mayor hostage

by June Mpofu | 2017 May 25 08:51:43 | 15688 Views

Homeless hero who pulled nails out of children's faces is given a home

by Prince Cox | 2017 May 24 20:11:55 | 16465 Views

Heartbroken wife dies after husband's mistress sent her indecent pictures

by Prince Cox | 2017 May 22 08:35:57 | 37036 Views

Father jailed after raping daughter for 20 years

by Hope Freedom | 2017 May 20 09:51:11 | 18432 Views

Driver miraculously unharmed after lorry completely crushes his BMW

by June Mpofu | 2017 May 20 09:59:37 | 14699 Views

Saddam Hussain arrested for pretending to be Osama Bin Laden

by June Mpofu | 2017 May 16 23:42:36 | 14227 Views

Student left with painful scars after tattoo removal goes wrong

by June Mpofu | 2017 May 15 20:45:37 | 17955 Views

Three people die of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo

by June Mpofu | 2017 May 12 15:31:35 | 15070 Views

'Shoplifter' bleeds to death after falling on 'stolen' bottles

by June Mpofu | 2017 May 09 21:49:08 | 18173 Views

82 Chibok schoolgirls freed by Boko Haram

by June Mpofu | 2017 May 07 09:19:48 | 35725 Views

Woman arrested after biting love rival's privates

by June Mpofu | 2017 May 06 19:03:59 | 14437 Views