The absence of a coronavirus vaccine makes all the scientists in the world focus all their efforts on try to get it. But, meanwhile, we also work with different substances that help relieve symptoms of people affected by COVID-19.
One of the most used drugs in the treatment of infected patients is the remdesivir, an antiviral from the nucleotide family, which inhibits the virus enzyme that causes it to multiply. Previously, used to treat Ebola, but its efficacy against SARS-CoV2.
However, science does not rest and in the last hours it has been discovered that a edible seaweed extract has substantially outperformed remdesivir as a method of inhibiting infection in mammalian cells.
Algae extract against coronavirus
In the study, carried out by researchers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of New York, a test was carried out antiviral effectiveness through an extract of edible algae with which to ‘trick’ the virus. The results were encouraging when verifying that it was more powerful than the aforementioned remdesivirof which The US has bought production for the next three months.
The virus enters the body through the protein known as spike. Through it she inserts her own genetic material and is done with the control of cellular machinery to later reproduce their cells. In this way, it is sought that the virus connect with a lure instead of a human cell, to avoid its reproduction in the body.
A nasal spray, possible remedy
As the study’s lead author, Jonathan Dordick, points out, “The current thinking is that the infection starts in the nose, and any of these substances could be the base for a nasal spray. If you could treat the infection early, or even treat it before you had the infection, could be blocked before it enters the body“
Similarly, it highlights the need for “an arsenal of approaches that we can quickly adapt to emerging viruses“in case of future pandemics. In fact, this technique of using a lure has also been used with other viruses like dengue or zika.