9:07 AM PDT, September 5, 2021
They’ve found that a molecule in the venom of a South American pit viper, the jararacussu, inhibited the production of the coronavirus in monkey cells. And it did so without harming other cells.
Their findings were published in the Molecules journal.
The next steps will involve testing different doses and seeing if the molecule can keep the virus from entering cells in the first place.
Ultimately, they will test the potential treatment on human cells, but the Sao Paulo team could not say when that would happen.
The pit vipers can grow to be up to 6-feet long. People who get bitten by the viper can suffer cerebral hemorrhages, kidney failure and shock. A bite can also be fatal.
Fortunately, researchers say they’re able to synthesize the venom in a lab, so no vipers, or people, will be harmed in trying to harvest the potentially life-saving substance.