Brazilian Snake Venom Could Help Fight COVID-19, Study Says

Brazilian researchers have found a molecule in snake venom that could fight COVID-19. The discovery might be the first step toward a medication to fight the virus.

Scientists found that the molecule produced by the jararacussu snake prevented the virus’ ability to spread in monkey cells by 75 percent. The study was published in the scientific publication Molecules this month.

Rafael Guido is a professor with the University of Sao Paulo and an author of the study. He said the molecule in the venom “was able to inhibit a very important protein from the virus."

The molecule is called a peptide, or a group of amino acids . The molecule is able to connect to an enzyme of the coronavirus called PLPro without harming other cells. PLPro is an important part of how the virus reproduces.

The peptide is already known to scientists for its ability to fight bacteria. Guido said the peptide can be made in a laboratory, so jararacussu snakes do not need to be caught.

"We’re wary about people going out to hunt the jararacussu around Brazil, thinking they’re going to save the world,” said zoologist Giuseppe Puorto with the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo. "It’s not the venom itself that will cure the coronavirus,” he added.

The jararacussu is one of the largest snakes in Brazil, and can be up to 2 meters long. It lives in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest and is also found in Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina.

Researchers will test different amounts of the molecule and see if it is able to prevent the virus from entering cells at all.

They hope to test the molecule in human cells one day, but there are currently no plans to start.

I’ll take “nothing will come from the research” for $1B, alex

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Now Brazilian doctors are prescribing mongoose food?

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People gonna be out trying to get bitten by this snake now.

I do believe the cures to all diseases are available somewhere on the planet. It’s like a fucked up version of hide and seek.

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