Most Read Articles
21 Sep 2020
Chest pain appears to be the principal complaint of patients hospitalized with a first myocardial infarction (MI), particularly among those in the youngest age group, a study has found.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 16 Sep 2020
In patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) receiving angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, high dosing confers benefits for the risk of death or hospitalization that are similar to that obtained with lower dosing, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Pearl Toh, 21 Sep 2020
Early and sustained treatments with simplified regimen are the key to achieving good asthma control, said experts during a presentation at the ERS 2020 Congress.
2 days ago
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), compared with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), in the revascularization of left main coronary artery (LMCA) disease may lead to death, myocardial infarction (MI), or stroke in patients with moderate or severe left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, reveals a study.

HKU investigators discovered antiviral compound effective against MERS, SARS, avian flu

Dr. Joseph Delano Fule Robles
23 Jan 2019
From left: Dr Jasper Fuk-Woo Chan, Prof Kwok-Yung Yuen, Dr Shuofeng Yuan and Dr Hin Chu

Scientists from the Department of Microbiology, University of Hong Kong (HKU) recently discovered a compound with broad antiviral activity against viruses causing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), avian flu (H7N9), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Zika fever.

The compound, called AM580, is a synthetic retinoid acid receptor-alpha (RAR-α) agonist that interferes with viruses’ lipid metabolism through interaction with sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBP). [Nat Commun 2019, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08015-x]

“Profound increases in major lipogenic enzymes are associated with viral infections and AM580 was shown to antagonize these changes, thereby reducing virus replication,” the investigators explained.

In vitro experiments showed that treatment with AM580 reduced MERS viral titres in cell culture supernatants and decreased expression of viral nucleoproteins. AM580’s antiviral effect was also observed in other important viruses causing epidemics, such as SARS, H1N1 and Zika viruses. 

In vivo experiments in MERS-infected mice treated with AM580 showed less body weight loss (p<0.05) and lower lung tissue virus titres and viral loads (p<0.01) vs control mice.

Moreover, mice challenged with H7N9 (avian flu) viruses then treated with AM580 had higher survival rates (60 percent vs 0 percent; p<0.01) and lower viral loads in lung tissues (p<0.01) vs control mice.

Digital Edition
Asia's trusted medical magazine for healthcare professionals. Get your MIMS Doctor - Malaysia digital copy today!
Sign In To Download
Editor's Recommendations
Most Read Articles
21 Sep 2020
Chest pain appears to be the principal complaint of patients hospitalized with a first myocardial infarction (MI), particularly among those in the youngest age group, a study has found.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 16 Sep 2020
In patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) receiving angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, high dosing confers benefits for the risk of death or hospitalization that are similar to that obtained with lower dosing, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Pearl Toh, 21 Sep 2020
Early and sustained treatments with simplified regimen are the key to achieving good asthma control, said experts during a presentation at the ERS 2020 Congress.
2 days ago
Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), compared with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), in the revascularization of left main coronary artery (LMCA) disease may lead to death, myocardial infarction (MI), or stroke in patients with moderate or severe left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, reveals a study.