Novel nasal sprays assists in preventing SARS-CoV2 transmission

Scientists from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons develop a nasal antiviral, which could hamper the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. They have experimented with the study on ferrets and so concluded.

The designed compound in the spray was the lipopeptide, developed by the researcher Anne Moscona. Smaller proteins added to cholesterol or tocopherol molecules are effective in preventing different viral agents like measles, parainfluenza, Nipah. Also, it is cheap, has a long life, and also needs no refrigeration.

Use of ferrets in the study

Ferrets are the most useful model for respiratory diseases of humans since the lungs of them are similar. Also, researchers showed that the ferrets were highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2.

According to the study, they led the ferret to acquire the virus from its fellow mate in the cages simulating a closely filled environment in the case of humans. Although these studies implicated other viral diseases, the arrival of SARS-CoV-2 has stressed the scientists to develop it sooner.

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Mechanism of action of lipopeptides

They work by fusing with the host’s cell membrane, thereby inhibiting the virus to fuse with it. The enveloped virus has to fuse with the cell membrane initially by unfolding the spike protein. The designed lipoprotein wedges onto the unfolded region and thus prevents the spike protein to acquire the compact shape necessary for fusion.

In the study, the researchers used the nasal spray in six ferrets. Pairs of the treated ferrets housed with two control ferrets to analyze the outcomes. There was one ferret that had SARS-CoV-2. After a day, they found that there were no ferrets treated with lipopeptides diagnosed with the virus, and the viral load is precisely zero. The control group affected with high viral load.

The significance of this treatment is that it confers protection immediately and lasts for about 24 hours. People who cannot develop immunity has again a chance to revert their condition by use of nasal sprays. Further research will definitely help to find ways for novel medical approaches for serious conditions.

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Source: Medical Xpress

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