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Czech scientists discover agents effective against zika

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Ceske Budejovice, South Bohemia, June 16 (CTK) – Czech scientists have discovered a group of substances that is highly effective against tick-borne encephalitis and the zika virus and are the first presented effective anti-zika substances, Daniela Prochazkova, from the Biological Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAV), has told CTK.

Experts from the centre, seated in Ceske Budejovice, have discovered the substances together with their colleagues from the Brno-based Institute of Veterinary Medicine in cooperation with specialists from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in Prague who have transformed the substances into pro-medicines.

The tick-borne encephalitis virus is closely related to the zika virus that started spreading mainly in Latin America in the past year and whose expansion scientists link to a sharp rise in the number of cases of microcephaly and other neurological defects.

The Czech research team registered a high effect of the discovered substances on animals.

“The substances block the virus’s multiplication in the host cell. The substances are nucleoside analogues, similar to those with which the late [Czech world-renowned] Professor Antonin Holy worked,” said Daniel Ruzek, head of the research team.

The research is exceptional by involving experts under 35.

It has been financially supported by the Czech Science Foundation and the Czech Agency for Medical Research.

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