Lower respiratory tract infections annually lead to several cases of hospitalization, with the Human Orthopneumovirus, also known as Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (hRSV), one of the main viral agents responsible for the worsening of respiratory conditions. The population most susceptible to worsening of the condition includes children, infants, the elderly and immunosuppressed people, who, in the absence of specific treatments and efficient vaccines, have a high mortality rate, which can reach 14.7% in adults over 65 years of age. During the last few years, our research group has focused on the search for anti-hRSV compounds. Recently, with the aid of an artificial intelligence (AI), we classified hundreds of flavonoids as active or inactive antivirals against hRSV, among them Jaceosidin and belonging to the Kaempferol group, respectively. This scientific initiation project, in parallel with other projects that aim to validate and advance the results of AI, aims to evaluate in vitro and in silico the anti-hRSV activity of the flavonoids Jaceosidin and Kaempferol 7 O-neohesperidoside. Therefore, the viability of hRSV-permissive Hep-2 cells will be monitored after infection and/or treatment under pre-, post-treatment or virucidal protocols. Promising results will be confirmed through plaque formation assays. The interaction of flavonoids with F protein, a target molecule of hRSV for pharmaceutical purposes, will be evaluated in molecular docking assays. The results generated by this project will provide subsidies in the validation of the AI, as well as in the acceleration of the research and search for new antiviral compounds.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: