The potential of scorpion venoms to combat the threat of new variants of coronavirus is being explored by scientists from the University of Aberdeen and the University of Suez Canal, Egypt.
Scorpions are one of the oldest animals on Earth, having existed for more than 400 million years. Their venoms have been used in traditional therapies since antiquity in many countries, particularly in China and India.
Scorpion venoms contain a “fascinating cocktail” of biologically active peptides, many of which are very potent neurotoxins, while several have shown strong antibacterial and antiviral activities and are thought to play a role in protecting the venomous gland from microbial infection.
These peptides could serve as a good starting point to design novel anti-coronavirus drugs.
The project is supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund and led by Dr Wael Houssen, Fellow of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, and Prof Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, Professor of Molecular Toxinology and Physiology in the Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, University of Suez Canal.
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