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Biocompatible Virucidal Materials as Broad Spectrum Antivirals

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Fiona Roby.

Viral infections kill millions of people every year. Antiviral drugs, which block different steps in the viral life cycle, are virus-specific and usually lose clinical effectiveness upon viral mutations. Arguably, the ideal drug irreversibly inhibits viral infectivity, acting outside the host cells with minimal cytotoxicity, i.e. a virucidal drug. There are many virucidal molecules (from strong acids to surfactants) however, none have the needed requirement of being non-toxic. In this talk I will overview the key differences between virustatic and virucidal antivirals and highlight the importance of a virucidal approach. I will show that by designing nanoparticles that, through strongly binding to a viral ligand, lead to local irreversible deformations of virus capsids that permanently inhibits viral infectivity. These nanoparticles target the viruses’ highly-conserved attachment ligands and are known to have minimal toxicity. Through the use of virucidal assays, electron microscopy images, and molecular dynamics simulations I will show that these particles display, at nanomolar concentrations, virucidal activity against different HPSG binding viruses (HSV, HPV , LentiV, RSV , Dengue). I will then go on to show how such an approach can be applied to other materials and molecules and present our most recent findings with this new and exciting class of virucidal antivirals

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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