Brazilian viper venom may become tool in fight against COVID

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A jararacussu snake, whose venom is used in a study against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is seen at Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

(Leonardo Benassatto/ Reuters) — Brazilian researchers have found that a molecule in the venom of a type of snake inhibited coronavirus reproduction in monkey cells, a possible first step toward a drug to combat the virus causing COVID-19.

A study published in the scientific journal Molecules this month found that the molecule produced by the jararacussu pit viper inhibited the virus’s ability to multiply in monkey cells by 75%.

“We were able to show this component of snake venom was able to inhibit a very important protein from the virus,” said Rafael Guido, a University of Sao Paulo professor and an author of the study. (…)

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