The study belongs to several students of the Institute of Biomedical Science of the University of Sao Paulo (ICB-USP), led by Professor Lucio Freitas-Junior, on Thursday, the Foundation for Research Support in the State of Sao Paulo (Fapesp), the entity that funded the project.
"Human cells infected with the chikungunia virus were treated with sofosbuir and the drug eliminated the virus without damaging the cells. Lek was 11 times more effective against the virus than against the cells," said Rafaela Milan Bonotto, one of the authors of the paper.
The researcher, Freitas-Junior, emphasized the importance that sofosbuvir is already a medicine that has been approved for human use, as it greatly reduces the time that can be available on the market for the treatment of chikungunia, as well as the costs estimated to do so.
"Sofosbuvir is a drug that has already passed the approval process for human use, which allows it to be used against Chikungunia for a period of one to three years." The cost of a clinical study, estimated at $ 500,000, would be much lower. also, "said Freitas-Junior.
The researcher recalled that chikungunia causes serious illness not only because of an acute episode itself, but because of the consequences it can go, such as joint pains that can inhibit infected people for months or years.
Chikungunia is one of the viruses transmitted through the bite of Aegipti Mosquito, which is also responsible for the transmission of dengue, Zika and yellow fever, and produces symptoms similar to those in the dengue in its acute phase. head and muscle, fever or nausea.
"Sofosbuvir is a specific element that can become a powerful tool to combat this virus." The results of our research enable interested institutions to initiate clinical trials, "said Freitas-Junior.
This finding is also important for public health, as researchers point out that the epidemic of the virus is predicted in the next two years in Brazil, a country that this year suffered a return to a yellow fever, a disease that can also be fought with that drug, according to a study that the same researchers will soon publish an article.
Chikunguna was a disease transmitted by the deadliest Aedes aegipti in Brazil in 2017, and for which a vaccine or a certain drug has not yet been approved. EFE