Are we ready to fight the Nipah virus pandemic? An overview of drug targets, current medications, and potential leads

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Nipah virus (NiV) is a high-lethality RNA virus from the family of Paramyxoviridae and genus Henipavirus, classified under Biosafety Level-4 (BSL-4) pathogen due to the severity of pathogenicity and lack of medications and vaccines. Direct contacts or the body fluids of infected animals are the major factor of transmission of NiV. As it is not an airborne infection, the transmission rate is relatively low. Still, mutations of the NiV in the animal reservoir over the years, followed by zoonotic transfer, can make the deadliness of the virus manifold in upcoming years. Therefore, there is no denial of the possibility of a pandemic after COVID-19 considering the severe pathogenicity of NiV, and that is why we need to be prepared with possible drugs in upcoming days. Considering the time constraints, computational aided drug design (CADD) is an efficient way to study the virus and perform the drug design and test the HITs to lead experimentally. Therefore, this review focuses primarily on NiV target proteins (covering NiV and human), experimentally tested repurposed drug details, and latest computational studies on potential lead molecules, which can be explored as potential drug candidates. Computationally identified drug candidates, including their chemical structures, docking scores, amino acid level interaction with corresponding protein, and the platform used for the studies, are thoroughly discussed. The review will offer a one-stop study to access what had been performed and what can be performed in the CADD of NiV.

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Structural Chemistry



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