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15 - 03 - 2017

A substance produced by the immune system protects against the Zika virus

25-hydroxycholesterol (25HC) is a substance naturally produced by the immune system. 25HC has been shown in vitro to prevent Zika, dengue and yellow fever viruses from entering cells and thus reproducing.

Tested in animal models of infection, 25HC allowed mice and monkey to better withstand Zika infections (fewer circulating viruses in the blood, better survival, fewer clinical signs). In addition, one trial in pregnant mice showed evidence of fewer viruses in the fetal brain and fewer abnormalities, especially microcephaly.

Studies are ongoing to test the feasibility of using 25HC for the treatment of patients.