Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 387-393

Mechanisms of virus resistance and antiviral activity of snake venoms

Rivero, J. V. Rde Castro, F. O. FStival, A. SMagalhães, M. RCarmo Filho, J. RPfrimer, I. A. H

Viruses depend on cell metabolism for their own propagation. The need to foster an intimate relationship with the host has resulted in the development of various strategies designed to help virus escape from the defense mechanisms present in the host. Over millions of years, the unremitting battle between pathogens and their hosts has led to changes in evolution of the immune system. Snake venoms are biological resources that have antiviral activity, hence substances of significant pharmacological value. The biodiversity in Brazil with respect to snakes is one of the richest on the planet; nevertheless, studies on the antiviral activity of venom from Brazilian snakes are scarce. The antiviral properties of snake venom appear as new promising therapeutic alternative against the defense mechanisms developed by viruses. In the current study, scientific papers published in recent years on the antiviral activity of venom from various species of snakes were reviewed. The objective of this review is to discuss the mechanisms of resistance developed by viruses and the components of snake venoms that present antiviral activity, particularly, enzymes, amino acids, peptides and proteins.(AU)

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