Agence France-PresseJanuary 28, 2014 12:50
Chinese scientists said Tuesday they had identified a compound that, in lab dish experiments, blocks infection by the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus.
A type of small protein, also known as a peptide, prevents the spikey virus from fusing with human respiratory cells, they said.
Fusion is a key step in replication of the virus. It enables the virus to infiltrate a cell and hijack its cellular machinery in order to reproduce.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, was led by Shibo Jiang at Fudan University in Shanghai.