Investigating The Therapeutic Potential Of Whey Derived Bioactive Peptides As Antiviral Agents In The Prevention Of Viral Infections

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Murphy, Kelly
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The impact of infectious diseases have always been a concern globally. Now more than
ever do we understand the devastating impacts that they can have on every aspect of our
lives as we begin to emerge from the catastrophic impacts, at both a mortality and
economical level, from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. As we gain greater insights into the
threat that emerging viruses have to human health, their mechanism of adaptation,
combined with external factors that facilitate their proliferation around the globe, do we
appreciate and understand the need for a wide range of strategies and therapies in order
to counteract the spread of infection and their associated symptoms that can lead to
increased mortality rates globally.

While there are a number of strategies such as vaccines and antiviral medications already
well established in order to reduce the devastating impacts of infectious diseases, there is
a need for alternative, and more affordable approaches in order to better counteract their
spread and devastating impacts of harmful viral infections; especially for those who find
themselves to be immunocompromised or at risk of suffering from the side-effects and
complications associated with traditional treatments. Thus, there is a need for a wide
range of alternative therapies and more affordable approaches in order to better control
and counteract the spread of harmful viral infections.
With global volumes of bovine milk in the region of 714 billion kg per annum, the
subsequent whey volumes generated from the cheese manufacturing industry offers an
abundant source of whey derived bioactive peptides that warrant further investigation to
assess their antiviral potential. Although whey was historically regarded as a problematic
waste stream generated from the cheese manufacturing process, it has, over the past
number of decades been valorised into a key nutritional ingredient within the food and
beverage industry thanks to advances in both processing and analytical technologies
within the dairy industry.
The ability to identify, purify and concentrate the native protein fragments βlactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, Bovine Serum Albumin, Immunoglobulins and Lactoferrin
has allowed researchers to conduct vast amounts of both in-vitro and in-vivo studies in
recent years, which have displayed that these bioactive peptides have the potential to
impart a wide variety of health benefits, which are increasingly gaining ground in clinical

In conclusion, the antiviral potential of the whey derived bioactive peptides: βlactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, and Lactoferrin in particular, is one such benefit that this
study’s findings have displayed a growing body of evidence is supporting, thus
showcasing them as a viable, widely available and more cost-effective option to work in
conjunction with or as an alternative to traditional vaccines and anti-viral medication.
Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE::Microbiology, immunology, infectious diseases::Infectious diseases