Snake venom can stop Covid-19 from multiplying

Healthcare Communications

Researchers in Brazilian have discovered that a particle in a in the venom of a jararacussu pit viper’s venom has the ability to stop the reproduction of coronavirus. The jararacussu is one of the biggest snakes in Brazil and can grow up to 6 feet in length. It habituates in the coastal Atlantic Forest, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina.

According to the study released in August 2021 in the scientific journal ‘Molecules’, the particle that is produced by the snake reduced corona virus's capability to reproduce in monkey cells by 75%.

“We were able to show this component of snake venom was able to inhibit a very important protein from the virus“

A professor at the University of Sao Paulo and author of the study, Rafael Guido, said: "We were able to show this component of snake venom was able to inhibit a very important protein from the virus.”

The peptide is already well known for its antibacterial abilities, and Guido said it can be synthesised in the lab, therefore making the catching or rearing of snakes redundant.

A herpetologist running the Butantan Institute's biological collection in Sao Paulo, Giuseppe Puorto, said: "We're wary about people going out to hunt the jararacussu around Brazil, thinking they're going to save the world ... That's not it!"

"It's not the venom itself that will cure the coronavirus."

A statement from the State University of Sao Paulo said that the next step for researchers is to look at the effectiveness of many different quantities of the molecule to decipher if it has the ability to stop covid from getting into cells.

Eventually scientists hope to be able to test it in human cells, but there has been no insight into when that will be.

See all the latest jobs in Healthcare Communications
Return to news