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Author Notes:

Joshy Jacob


S.H.L and J.J. designed experiments and wrote the manuscript. S.H.L., E.H.K. G.D., D.J.H. and J.T.O. designed the experimental procedures. J.W helped with developing the focus forming assay. S.G. and S.G. determined host defense peptide sequences. K.M.Q., J.R.B., J.O., I.S., and M.S carried out the Zika virus infection studies in mice.

We gratefully acknowledge Dr. William Shafer, Jessica Shartouny and Caitlin Bohannon for helpful discussions.

The authors declare no competing interests.


Research Funding:

The Electron Microscopy data described here was gathered on the JEOL JEM-1400 120kV TEM supported by a National Institutes of Health Grant S10 RR025679. This work was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health grants R01AI100110 (J.J), U19AI083019 (M.S) and R56AI110516 (M.S.S). R56AI110516 (M.S) and ORIP/OD P51OD011132 (M.S and J.J), Emory University Department of Pediatrics Junior Faculty Focused Award (M.S.S), Emory Vaccine Center, and The Georgia Research Alliance (M.S).


  • Science & Technology
  • Multidisciplinary Sciences
  • Science & Technology - Other Topics

The amphibian peptide Yodha is virucidal for Zika and dengue viruses

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Journal Title:



Volume 11, Number 1


, Pages 602-602

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Zika virus (ZIKV) has emerged as a serious health threat in the Americas and the Caribbean. ZIKV is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, sexual contact, and blood transfusion. ZIKV can also be transmitted to the developing fetus in utero, in some cases resulting in spontaneous abortion, fetal brain abnormalities, and microcephaly. In adults, ZIKV infection has been correlated with Guillain–Barre syndrome. Despite the public health threat posed by ZIKV, neither a vaccine nor antiviral drugs for use in humans are currently available. We have identified an amphibian host defense peptide, Yodha, which has potent virucidal activity against ZIKV. It acts directly on the virus and destroys Zika virus particles within 5 min of exposure. The Yodha peptide was effective against the Asian, African, and South American Zika virus strains and has the potential to be developed as an antiviral therapeutic in the fight against Zika virus. The peptide was also effective against all four dengue virus serotypes. Thus, Yodha peptide could potentially be developed as a pan-therapeutic for Zika and dengue viruses.

Copyright information:

© The Author(s) 2021.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/rdf).
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