Antioxidant and antiviral activity of fullerol against Zika virus.
Neglected for years, Zika virus (ZIKV) has become one of the most relevant arboviruses in current public health. The recent Zika fever epidemic in the Americas generated a worldwide alert due to the association with diseases such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and congenital syndromes. Among the pathogenesis of ZIKV, recent studies suggest that oxidative stress plays an important role during infection and that compounds capable of modulating oxidative stress are promising as therapeutics. Furthermore, so far there are no specific and efficient antiviral drug or vaccine available against ZIKV. Thus, fullerol was evaluated in the context of infection by ZIKV, since it is a carbon nanomaterial known for its potent antioxidant action. In this study, fullerol did not alter cell viability at the concentrations tested, proving to be inert, beyond to presenting high antioxidant power at low concentrations. ZIKV infection of human glioblastoma increased the production of reactive oxygen species by 60% and modulated the Nrf-2 pathway activity negatively. After treatment with fullerol, both conditions were restored to baseline levels. Additionally, fullerol was able to reduce viral production by up to 90%. Therefore, our results suggest that fullerol as a promising candidate in the control of ZIKV infections, presenting both antioxidant and antiviral action.Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.