Because there is talk of a nasal spray against Coronavirus

And Matteo Porotto, professors of the Department of Pediatrics and directors of the Center for Host-Pathogen Interaction. The reason for so much interest is that ferret trials have shown the spray's ability to block SARS-CoV transmission, suggesting that it could also prove invaluable for the spread of the coronavirus among humans. To date, however, the experimentation on humans has not yet started.

to enter host cells.

Antiviral lipopeptide is inexpensive to manufacture, has a long shelf life, and does not require refrigeration. These characteristics would distinguish it from other antiviral approaches under development, including monoclonal antibodies, and would make it a hypothetically ideal candidate to halt the spread of Covid-19 even in more problematic areas of the world. Being transportable and stable, in fact, it is also suitable for use in rural populations that are difficult to reach.

We emphasize once again that the research is a very first step towards its application on humans, but an article describing the effect of the compound on a 3D model of the human lung has already been published in the journal mBio on October 20. In this model, the compound was able to extinguish an initial infection, prevent the spread of the virus within the lung, and was not toxic to airway cells.

Evolution of a previous study

Researchers had previously created similar lipopeptides, small proteins attached to a molecule of cholesterol or tocopherol, to prevent infection of cells by other viruses, including measles, parainfluenza and Nipah viruses. When SARS-CoV-2 spread starting in early 2020, they adapted the design to the novel coronavirus. "A fundamental aspect that we want to underline is the importance of applying basic science to the development of treatments for viruses that affect human populations globally from time to time.. - affirm Anne Moscona and Matteo Porotto. - In this case, the fruits of our previous research proved valuable and led to the rapid application of the methods to COVID-19 ".

of his host. This step is performed by all viruses to infect cells and SARS-CoV-2 is no exception, which, in order to fuse, unfolds its spike protein.

The compound designed by Anne Moscona and Matteo Porotto recognizes the SARS-CoV-2 spike, wedges itself into the unfolded region and prevents the spike protein from adopting the compact shape necessary for fusion.

they have characteristics very similar to those of human beings.

Also in the case of SARS-CoV-2 infection they proved to be highly susceptible, given the high spread of the virus between one and the other.

In the study, 100% of those untreated were infected by cage mates in a space that, for possible size and distance, can be compared to that of a bed or a small room.

During the experiments, the lipopeptide was administered into the nose of six animals. The treated ferret pairs were placed in a cage along with two ferrets who received a saline nasal spray and one ferret infected with SARS-CoV-2.

After 24 hours of intense direct contact between the animals, tests revealed that none of the treated ferrets contracted the virus from the infected cagemate and that their viral load remained exactly zero. All the animals that were given only the salt spray, however, turned out to be highly infected.

The lipopeptides are easily administered

In light of these findings, the researchers therefore suggest that these peptides could be used in any situation where a non-infected person risks exposing themselves - in the family, school, healthcare setting or community - to the contraction of the coronavirus.

"Even in an ideal scenario with large segments of the vaccinated populationa - and with full confidence and compliance with vaccination procedures - these antiviral sprays could be an important complement to protect individuals and control transmission ", they claim.

The antiviral is easily administered and, according to scientists' experience with other respiratory viruses, protection would be immediate and last for at least 24 hours. Those who cannot be vaccinated or who do not develop immunity could benefit most of all.

The one on ferrets, however, was only the first step. Scientists now hope to rapidly advance the preventive approach to human trials, with the goal of containing transmission during this pandemic.

The hope is that we will all soon return to a normal life and stop spending too many hours in front of technological devices, which risk ruining our sight.

Further information and updates on 2019-nCov

For more detailed information on the new Coronavirus, on correct prevention, on infections in Italy, on the rules to be respected and on the quarantine procedures, we recommend reading the dedicated articles:

  • Coronavirus 2019-nCoV: How to Recognize the First Symptoms and What to Do
  • New Coronavirus: Rules to Follow
  • Coronavirus: how to prevent the risk of contagion from 2019 nCoV
  • New Coronavirus vaccine: updates
  • Coronavirus: prevention and updates on the 2019 nCoV infection in Italy
  • Coronavirus and SARS: similarities and differences on infection and transmission of the virus
  • Maskne or Acne da Mask: What is it? Why does it manifest itself?
  • Templates: Comparative Types, Functions and Methods of Use
  • Physical Activity and Masks
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