Harvard University researcher Dr. Boguslaw Lipinski claims that selenium can treat Ebola virus disease (EVD). His paper says that a specific form of selenium, sodium selenite, found in nutritional supplements can reduce the infectivity and therefore the reproduction of Ebola and HIV viruses.
It is known that the virulence of Ebola and other RNA enveloped viruses involves in the first step their attachment to host cell membranes. Following this initial step the virus enters the target cell cytoplasm by forming hydrophobic spikes that make holes in the membrane lipid bilayer.
Formation of such spikes is catalyzed by the reduced form of viral protein disulfide isomerase (PDIred) thus initiating chain of disulfide exchange reactions.
Consequently, hydrophobic protein epitopes become exposed, which in the absence of proper chaperones form hydrophobic ‘spikes’ capable of penetrating the host cell membranes.
In this communication evidence is discussed showing that the chain of disulfide exchange e vents can be inhibited by a small redox molecule – sodium selenite.
It is suggested that this inexpensive and readily available food supplement can be an ultimate inhibitor of Ebola and other enveloped viral infections.