Viruses, organisms on the edge of life: how to fight them?

Viruses, organisms on the edge of life: how to fight them?


Antivirals are a class of medicines with both therapeutic and preventive action for the treatment of viral infections. They act by inhibiting one of the various phases of the virus replication cycle: a) the absorption and penetration of the virus into the host cell; b) the release of the viral genome (uncoating); c) the transcription and translation of the viral genome; d) the assembly and maturation of virions and finally e) the release of new viruses.


Viruses are in fact obligatory parasites of living cells and as they lack a proper cell structure, a metabolism of their own and the ability to reproduce independently, they are often defined as “organisms on the edge of life”. These biological entities of very ancient origin, probably appeared as parasites of bacterial cells more than 3.5 billion years ago, are the most abundant biological form on Earth. They are capable of infecting all existing living organisms, from bacteria to plants and animals, including humans, and many are specific species.


Bict s.r.l. has developed a line of natural products with bactericidal and antiviral action, active both in human (Lactive) and veterinary field (ViSTOP). The products, developed thanks to the twenty-year experience of a team of biotechnologists, are made entirely of natural ingredients. Among these, there is the lactoferrin hydrolysate which, in addition to having proven antimicrobial (Bruni et al., 2016) and prebiotic (Vega-Bautista et al. 2019) activities, is a powerful antiviral. Numerous scientific studies show that lactoferrin and the peptides resulting from its hydrolysis, including lactoferricin, are able to interfere with the very early stages of the life cycle of many viruses, effectively preventing the virus from entering the host cell and thus blocking the infection at birth (Giansanti et al., 2018; Sultana et al., 2018; Shestakov et al., 2012).

But these peptides are not the only natural ingredients studied and used in our products to fight viral infections. Vistop is in fact also composed of green tea rich in catechins with antiviral action (Xu et al., 2017) and medicinal fungi that in addition to having an antiviral action stimulate the body’s immune system (Ren et al., 2018; Tanaka et al., 2015).

For more information about the ingredients used in our products, visit our blog


Bict s.r.l. has also developed experimental protocols to test in vitro the antiviral activity of compounds/molecules supplied by the client against animal viruses. In particular, the service offered includes the evaluation of viral infection inhibition and viral propagation in the host cell treated with the compound of interest.