Star-polymers as potent broad-spectrum extracellular virucidal antivirals

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Star-polymers as potent broad-spectrum extracellular virucidal antivirals


Super, E. H.; Lai, S. M.; Cytlak-Chaudhuri, U.; Coppola, F.; Saouaf, O. M.; Song, Y. E.; Casey, K. M.; Batt, L. J.; Macleod, S.-L.; Bagley, R. H. T.; Korb, Z.; Kral, P.; Appel, E.; Travis, M.; Jones, S. T.


Viruses pose a significant threat to both global health and the global economy. It is clear that novel antiviral strategies are urgently needed, with a broad-spectrum approach being most desired. We have discovered a broad-spectrum, non-toxic polymer virucide that can tackle the viral threat. This polymeric virucide is effective at nanomolar concentrations, against a broad-spectrum of viruses and, demonstrated using an intranasal respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) murine model, has excellent efficacy, low anti-coagulant properties and low toxicity in vivo. Molecular dynamic simulations show that this polymer achieves its virucidal antiviral effect via self-assembly of viral-receptors leading to increased envelope forces and viral disassembly. The discovery of this cheap and readily produced polymer marks the start of a new type of receptor-crosslinking broad-spectrum antiviral that has significant potential to combat the global threat posed by viruses.

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