A pair of compounds isolated from snake venom each show evidence of combating hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Publishing their findings in PLOS ONE, Brazilian researchers followed up on research indicating that animal venom has shown antiviral activity against dengue, a virus in the same family as HCV. These scientists isolated two compounds from rattlesnake venom, known as phospholipase A2 (PLA2-CB) and crotapotin (CP).

In nature, PLA2-CB and CP are components of a larger structure known as the crotoxin protein complex.

The study authors conducted a series of experiments in which they tested the anti-HCV effects of each of the individual compounds as well as the compounds together in the crotoxin protein complex. They found that PLA2-CB reduced the production of new hep C particles by 86 percent while the protein complex reduced production by 58 percent. PLA2-CB and the protein complex reduced hep C’s entry into cells by a respective 97 percent and 85 percent.

CP did not block HCV’s entry into cells or the virus’s replication, but the compound did reduce the release of new viral particles from infected cells by 78 percent. The protein complex reduced such viral release by 50 percent.

The scientists concluded that the two compounds more effectively targeted hep C when used separately than when applied together as components of the protein complex.

To read the study, click here.

To read a press release about the study, click here.