Researchers conducted a lab-test for a molecule investigation that shows signs of combating the common cold virus in humans. The molecule is able to do this by preventing the virus from taking control over the human cells. The lab-tests done earlier with the human cells had shown the ability of the molecule to block numerous strains of cold virus. This time the team hopes to do the trials on animals and then on humans. The current study results have been published today in the journal Nature Chemistry.
A common cold is basically caused in humans by a family of the virus with several variants of its own which makes it almost impossible for the infected human to get an immunization or vaccinate against the entire family. When the viruses get a host, they evolve rapidly which makes them gain resistance to drugs quickly. This is why instead of tackling the virus most of the cold prevention remedies depend on treating the symptoms of the infection first like a sore throat, runny nose, and fever.
The new molecule that is developed by the researchers at the Imperial College London focuses on the N-Myristoyltransferase (NMT). It is a protein found in human cells that the viruses hijack from the human cells in order to construct the protein shell that protects the entire virus genome. In order to make new doppelgangers, viruses require the human protein so the newly invented molecule should work against all the viruses at once. The molecule also has to work against the viruses related to the cold virus like that of polio and viruses that cause foot and mouth diseases. The molecule is made in such a way that it targets human protein and not the infected virus that will make the emergence of resistant viruses more prone.
Professor Ed Tate from the Department of Chemistry at the Imperial had to say that common cold is an inconvenience for most people but it can cause severe complications in people with health problems like asthma and COPD. He believes that a drug as such can be beneficial if it is given early during the cold infection and the team is working on making a version that can be inhaled instead of consuming it orally so that it reaches the lungs directly.