Role of proteins
There are two types of viruses, enveloped and non-enveloped. Some enveloped viruses such as Influenza and Herpes contain certain glycoproteins (GPs) on the envelope projecting from their external surface, for instance H1N1 (Hemagglutinin & Neuraminidase proteins). These GPs are essential for virus pathogenicity.
The virus genome possesses processing proteases which proteolytically break the host cell membrane and allow virus entry into the cell. Some viruses, such as the Influenza A virus, do not possess a processing protease genome and take the help of other proteases present on the infected respiratory tract surface to proteolytically activate virus entry into the cells. Although our body defense system secretes protease inhibitors (leukoprotease inhibitors in the upper respiratory tract and surfactants in the lower respiratory tract), their concentration is not always sufficient to neutralize all the virus entry-enhancing proteases.
Virus GPs & proteases are both proteins in nature.
Mechanism of topical virus infection
The mechanisms of viral pathogenicity differ depending on whether the infection is topical or systemic.
During topical viral infection, initially the virus attacks a few cells, multiplies in the cell nucleus, and then a huge amount of virus particles is liberated on the biological surface. Virus infection lowers the defenses of host cells in general, induces cell lysis, exposes extra cellular matrix (ECM) and thus creates a formidable ground for native bacterial growth. The newly liberated virus particles continue attacking new healthy cells as long as the host defense mechanisms are not fully activated to neutralize the virus. Secondary bacterial infections, usually by Streptococcus, ensue, and clinical symptoms start appearing.
In the case of Herpes, the virus, stored in the nerve cells, gets activated periodically, then migrates towards the oral or genital mucosa at a speed of approximately 1mm/day, infects a few cells, and the resulting cell death releases millions of free virus particles on the mucosa surface. These virions now attack new healthy cells, and the herpes lesions start appearing. The virus continues spreading the infection as long as the body’s defense system does not stop the ongoing viral growth. Secondary, opportunistic bacterial infection follows, particularly in genital herpes, which further interferes with lesion healing. Some proteases also help herpes virus re-entry into the cells. In case of genital herpes, bacterial infection leads to bacterial vaginosis, pH Alkalinity and the loss of native vaginal microflor
An effective treatment should be capable of neutralizing the free virus particles present on the surface of the mucosa or lesion, so as to stop the basic cause of the infection. But taking into account the amount of virus particles on the infected surface, the role of virus entry-enhancing proteases and the extracellular location of the virus, in conjunction with frequent concomitant microbial infection, a multi-level approach of inhibiting the virus infection, neutralizing virus entry-enhancing proteases and simultaneous healing the lesion, is essential to treat these diseases effectively.
A : Preventive: None.
Currently there is no topical or preventive antiviral drug available on the market.
B : Curative: Oral anti-virals including:
- Virus entry inhibitors (Gp41, CXCR4, CCR5, Gp120), which are not very effective.
- Reverse transcriptase-nucleoside inhibitors, such as acyclovirs (Zovirax), which act intracellularly and do not neutralize free virus particles or infection: they can be used as good preventive drugs, but are not of any use once the infection is already established.
- Integrase inhibitors (Raltegravir, GSK572).
- Protease inhibitors (Fosamprenavir, Tipranavir).
- Virus transcription, maturation or uncoating inhibitors (trim5-alpha, TAT inhibitors)
- NB: those last three categories of treatments are also directed at stopping intracellular virus growth. However, as they affect cellular physiology, they induce multiple side effects and therefore are used only in cases of severe viral infection where benefit / risk ratio is favorable.
- Vaccines, which should be taken before the virus infection and outbreak and which have variable antigenicity.
Unfortunately, none of the known antiviral drugs takes the ideal treatment approach essential to treat topical viral infections.
Employing in vitro technology, VITRO-BIO first identified the Influenza & Herpes virus entry-enhancing proteases.
These two virus families contain surface glycoproteins – such as H1N1, H1N5, H6N9 for Influenza, and gB, gD, for Herpes – which are surface proteins.
The Polymer Approach :
Polymers, such as plant tannins, are very big, inert molecules having a strong affinity for specific proteins.
We therefore selected specific natural or synthetic polymers or polymeric fractions capable of binding with the target virus surface glycoproteins. Once a free virus particle binds with a polymer, that virus particle cannot enter into the cells and as a result viral infection progression is stopped.
The best antiviral effects are obtained when both virus proteases and virus GPs are blocked simultaneously.
These polymers were then incorporated into an osmotically active, hypertonic filmogen solution to complete the antimicrobial and lesion healing properties of the product.
VB-Gy: lesion cleaning approach :
Antiseptics or hypertonic solutions such as sea water are commonly employed to clean injuries. Although normal saline or sea water constitute a cleaning agent of choice, they are not often used because they prove too irritating, lack filmogen properties, have a short-lived or low efficacy, and cannot be patented.
Therefore, VITRO-BIO identified, and patented in 1997, a glycerol-type, non-irritant, cell-friendly solution, having 18 times more osmotic activity than sea water. An improved version of this solution with enhanced film retention capabilities has been invented and patented by VITRO-BIO in 2013.
Through its osmotic activity, filmogen VB-Gy induces instant exudation of hypotonic fluids across the injured surface, thus cleaning the lesion or mucosa of the polymer-protein conjugates as well as of all contaminants present (including bacteria), thus acting as an instant, natural antiseptic, antimicrobial, and hydrating device.
Preventive & Curative Topical Antiviral Approach :
The products act as strong preventive treatment if applied at the beginning of any infection (except for the Herpes virus).
Published Articles :
Shrivastava R. A new therapeutic approach to neutralize throat surface proteases and virus glycoproteins simultaneously for the treatment of influenza virus infection. International Journal of Virology, 1-11, 2011. ISSN 1816-4900 / DOI: 10.3923/ijv.2011.
Rousse M, Cucuat N, Janicot C, Shrivastava R. Innovative Scientific Concept of Topical Virus Glycoprotein Inhibitors Incorporated in Hyperosmotic Glycerol Revolutionizes Future Prospects in the Treatment of Viral and Bacterial Throat Infections. Int J Pharm Sci Drug Res. 2014; 6 (1); 1-11. ISSN: 0975-248X.
Products based on antiviral, antiseptic & lesion cleaning approach :
(see individual product information sheet)
– Genital Herpes: multiple action, anti-viral and healing gel, to treat genital Herpes and bacterial vaginosis. (3 tubes of 10ml each)
– Labial Herpes: topical Herpes virus entry-inhibitor with healing properties to treat labial Herpes. (6ml tube)
– Rhinosinusitis: first non-irritant, hypertonic nasal spray for instant sino-nasal decongestion and anti-viral action, for the treatment of Rhinosinusitis. (15ml spray)
– Viral Throat Infection: 1st topical antiviral, antimicrobial and hydrating spray for viral throat infections, including infection with Influenza virus (H1N1, H1N5, H6N9). (30ml – Adult version, or 20ml – Child version).
– Cough sprays: Topical dry cough, antiviral, anti-bacterial, and mucosa healing spray. The wet cough spray is equally anti-viral and anti-bacterial, and more particularly directed at fluidizing throat mucus & easing respiration