DRACO – the novel broad spectrum antiviral

DRACO is the acronym for Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) Activated Caspase Oligomerizer which selectively induces apoptosis in cells containing viral dsRNA, thereby rapidly eliminating infected cells without affecting uninfected cells. Todd H. Rider and associates [Rider TH, Zook CE, Boettcher TL, Wick ST, Pancoast JS, Zusman BD. Broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutics. PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22572] from the Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lexington, Massachusetts, United States of America, could create DRACOs which were effective against fifteen different viruses like dengue flavivirus and H1N1 influenza. It was non toxic to eleven mammalian cell types tested. These DRACOs could also rescue mice challenged with H1NI influenza. DRACOs are potentially suitable for both prophylactic and therapeutic usage. You can read the free full text of the paper by Rider and associates at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3144912/.

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