The research, published Tuesday in the journal Structure, combined tens of thousands of two-dimensional images obtained in electron microscopy to construct a three-dimensional model of the virus’s structure, the first we have with a lot of details. “Previous studies didn’t hit this level of granularity,” said Dr. Peter Katona, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles. By visualizing the virus in such detail, the researchers may find pockets on its surface where the drug molecules could attach. “The better we know the details of the lock, the better we can design the key,”Dr Katona added.
“At a lower resolution, many of these viruses just look like matching spherical balls,” said Madhumati Sevvana, the study’s lead author. “Once you zoom in, you start to see the differences in their landscapes.” The study’s findings likely will not have an immediate impact on disease prevention, according to Kristian G. Andersen, a genomic researcher at the Scripps Research Institute. At present, many promising Zika vaccine candidates cannot be fully tested in humans because of a decline in infections. Development of antiviral medicines to treat patients is still in early stages. Possibly it will be a long way yet to win the battle with this virus but very step is important.