Washington: Scientists have isolated a compound that inhibits poxviruses from replicating and causing infections such as smallpox, vaccinia and monkeypox.
Study co-author Ken Dower, post-doctoral fellow in the lab of John Connor, assistant professor of microbiology at the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), identified the compound, the Journal of Virology reports.
"The compound... forces the catastrophic failure of the normal virus amplification cycle... This can help us in developing new compounds that fight poxviruses infection," said Connor, according to a university statement.
Recent data shows that more and more people are being infected by monkeypox globally.
Utilising state-of-the-art screening, Dower and colleagues, including Scott Schaus, associate professor of chemistry, looked for compounds that could stop vaccinia from replicating inside human cells.
They discovered that the virus can enter the cell in the compound`s presence, but once inside, the compound inactivates an essential piece of virus machinery.
The researchers collaborated with the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) which then tested the efficacy of the chemical compound on the monkeypox virus.
Their experiments demonstrated this chemical compound has the ability to inhibit different varieties of poxviruses.
In 1979, successful vaccination efforts eradicated smallpox, a deadly poxvirus that killed hundreds of millions of people worldwide, according to the WHO.