The Ebola virus causes Ebola haemorrhagic fever, an infectious disease with a 90% fatality rate that affects both animals and human beings. This virus does not currently have a specific treatment nor vaccine against it. It is considered by the World Health Organisation to be of high priority and it is classed as a potential bioterrorism agent of the highest risk.
Due to the current lack of proper treatment, it is necessary to identify new alternatives for its eradication. This is the objective of the collaboration established between the research groups from the Biophysics and Molecular Biotechnology Department of the University of Granada and Fundación MEDINA. This joint study is based in the very important role that the human protein Tsg101 plays is the spreading of the Ebola virus infection through its interaction with the VP40 protein found in the shell of this virus. Both research groups have come together to identify natural products that will inhibit this interaction. The results from this collaboration will set the initial guidelines for the search of a new treatment against the Ebola virus.
The University of Granada’s research team brings to this project over ten years of experience and intense work on this type of interactions. Fundacion MEDINA’s team contributes with its long experience in the discovery of new drugs from natural products of microbial origin. The high throughput screening platform the latter has, will in turn allow for a fast screen of MEDINA’s Natural Product Collection in order to identify inhibitors of this interaction that is so essential for the spreading of the Ebola virus.