Mpox, also known as "monkeypox," is currently spreading worldwide. Since May 2022, there have also been more and more confirmed cases in Germany. People with immunodeficiencies are particularly at risk from the disease. A vaccination against mpox viruses has already been available for some time. Now a cross-border research team from Goethe University Frankfurt am Main and the University of Kent, including LOEWE Professor Sandra Ciesek, has been able to identify a known active ingredient that could help as a drug against monkeypox. The research results were published in "Journal of Medicoal Virology".
The drug candidate that could potentially be used to treat mpoxviruses is called nitroxilin. It has alreasy shown in experimental models that it effectively inhibits the replication of mpoxviruses. The antibiotic is also effective against a strain of Mpoxvirus that has already shown resistance to the most promising drug to date, Tecovirimat. Nitroxilin thus simultaneously suppresses several pathogens that are frequently involved in severe courses of mpox.
The antibiotic is well tolerated and is already used to treat humans. Therefore, it can be tested directly in a clinical trial against Mpox.