Chinese and American Scientists Made Important Progress in the Anti-Zika Virus Research Field


On March 15, the internationally renowned journalImmunitypublished the research findings on ZIKV virus led by Suzhou Institute of Systems Medicine (hereinafter referred to as “SISM”) online, reporting that 25-hydrocarbyl cholesterol has a definite protective effect on diseases caused by ZIKV infection. The study was led by SISM of Suzhou Research Center of Systems Medicine, jointly researched by Institute of Microbiological Epidemiology of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Institute of Genetics and Development of Chinese Academy of Sciences and researchers from the University of California, Los Angels, and it systematically studied the action mechanism of CH25H and its enzymatic reaction product 25HC involved in body‘s resistance to ZIKV infection.

ZIKV (the picture is from the Internet) 

ZIKV broke out in Brazil in 2015. Till May 2016, about 50 countries have ZIKV transmission cases and it has become a vital infectious virus that threats human health around the world. Domestically, China has reported more than 20 cases of imported ZIKV cases. Currently, there are no officially approved effective drugs or vaccines to treat or prevent microcephaly and other diseases caused by ZIKA.

According to Dr. Chunfeng Li from SISM, this study finds that 25HC can directly block the virus from entering into cells, having broad-spectrum antiviral activity for many flaviviruses including ZIKA. Using ZIKA infected mice model and Rhesus monkeys models, researchers discover that 25HC can significantly inhibit the replication of the virus in body, and effectively prevent the occurrence of microcephaly. This study elucidates the molecular mechanism of CH25H and its product 25HC in their role in immune protective function, and promotes the understanding of the immune response mechanism of anti-Zika virus in the scientific community.

25HC is the first ever found small molecule that can inhibit the replication of ZIKA in monkeys, as well as the first compound to prevent microcephaly caused by ZIKA infection in mice. Related findings provide new solutions and potential targets for the treatment of human ZIKA infection.

In addition, this series of studies also show 25HC has broad-spectrum antiviral effect, including for Ebola virus, HIV etc., therefore it can be applied to future prevention and control of emerging and outbreak of viral infectious diseases, providing new solutions for the effective prevention and treatment of viral infectious diseases.


(Institute of Systems Medicine)