Snake Venom, an Unbeheld Drug for Nipah Virus? A Lead from Ayurveda KM01-KM03
Dr. Preethi Mohan,
Associate Professor, Department of Agadatantra (Forensic Medicine, Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology), Amrita School of Ayurveda, Clappana PO., Vallickavu, Kollam, Kerala-690546, India.
Newly emerging viral fevers are grabbing the people all over the world. Recently Nipah outbreak occurred in Kerala (May 2018) and claimed many deaths. Anti-viral drugs for these dangerous viruses have not been discovered yet. A major hurdle is the low incidence of discovery of efficient molecules with anti-viral property. In Ayurveda, a handful of formulations are explained for serious disorders especially fevers in which one of the constituent is snake venom. No researches have been conducted regarding this due to many ethical concerns and ignorance. Anyway, it is possible to draw a general outline of anti-viral activity of the snake venom in terms of available researches. Anti-viral property of snake venom is a known fact today based on researches done on dengue virus, parvo virus etc., Researches have shown that viruses have a strong affinity towards phospholipase 2 (PLA2), as most of these viruses use host machinery for infection and replication. Although, a structural homology between snake PLA2 and human PLA2 has also been proved. Likewise, due to affinity, virus may attach to snake venom PLA2. Further, snake venom PLA2 can inactivate the lipid bilayer of virus causing partial exposure of virus RNA, making it unable to attach with the host cells. It is high time to focus on snake venom research towards dreadful fevers taking the lead from Ayurveda.