Treatment of Zika Virus Infections Using Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors
The Zika virus is a Flavivirus that is spread to humans through mosquito bites. It is presently a major human health concern. When pregnant women are infected the virus can be transferred to the baby and result in microcephaly and other sever brain problems. Infections can also result in Guillain-Barre syndrome in adults and children, a neurological syndrome that can cause temporary paralysis. There are presently no vaccines or medications capable of preventing or treating Zika virus infections.
Castanospermine is an inhibitor of α- and β- glucosidases which catalyze the cleavage of individual glucosyl residues from various glycoconjugates, including complex carbohydrates and glycoproteins. Castanospermine interferes with viral replication and infection that is dependent on glucosidase activity. Evidence of castanospermine antiviral activity has been reported in various Flavivirus and has been demonstrated by our researchers to be an anti-Zika virus drug.