May 11, 2021

Zika Virus 2016 Update: World War 1 antiseptic can prevent spread?

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Susmita Pathak Mishra From Australian Network News

Zika virus medical intervention has found that there is an old method of preventing the spread of the disease using Acriflavine antiseptic from World War I and II.

What is Zika virus Acriflavine antiseptic?

The study has been conducted by Hudson Institute of Medical Research’s molecular biologists Michael Gantier and Geneviebe Pepin and published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research. The antiseptic is made from coal tar. Hence, it helps in treating wounds, injuries and other kinds of health issues. It is a powdery substance that is available in brown and orange color and is mixed with water to wash out the blood and dust on wounds that might infect the body and spread across.

How is the Zika vurus antiseptic used?

In World War I, Australian soldiers used this method to treat viral infections, sleeping sickness, common cold and others. Not only in World War I but also in World War II, Acriflavine antiseptic was used to treat open injuries and bladder infections. It was also used to treat gonorrhea. Like other antiseptics, it kills the parasite causing various infections. However, it is not clear what made it work this way.

Melbourne researchers, however, have stated that antiseptic enhances the immune system and provides protection to the common people from diseases like SARS, Ebola and Zika virus. “We have shown for the first time that Acriflavine binding to cellular DNA could activate the host immune system, unleashing a powerful immune response on a potentially broad range of bacteria,” Gantier said.

Zika virus Acriflavine antiseptic was discovered by German scientists in 1912. Since then, it has been used as a treatment for wounds, starting from the Great War.  “It is extremely cheap, which is why it is still used in poorer countries,” The Canberra Times quoted Gantier as saying. “It is also easy to move around because you don’t have to worry about temperature or humidity.”

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