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Nasal antiviral proves effective in preventing corona transmission between rodents



Researchers at the University of British Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons have created an antiviral nasal that prevents corona transmission in rodents, indicating that the nasal spray may also prevent infection in people exposed to the new coronavirus, including recent variants.


The researchers indicated, that the compound found in the spray is called - lipopeptide - and it is designed to prevent the new Corona virus from entering the host's cells.


According to the study published today in the journal "Science", the lipopeptide antiviral is inexpensive, has a long shelf life, and does not require refrigeration, and these features make it distinct from other antiviral methods under development, including many monoclonal antibodies.


A new nasal peptide compound could be ideal to stop the spread of corona, as a transportable and stable compound can be especially essential in rural, low-income and hard-to-reach areas.


The team has previously created similar lipopeptides to prevent cells from infecting cells with other viruses, including measles, isotransferases and the Nipa virus.


When the Coronavirus appeared, researchers adapted their designs to the new Corona virus, as lipid peptides work by preventing the virus from merging with the host cell membrane, which is a necessary step that viruses, including Corona virus, use to infect cells.


In the experiments, the lipopeptide was placed in the nose of 6 rodents, and the treated rodents were combined with two control rodents that received a saline nasal spray and a mongoose infected with the Coronavirus.


After 24 hours of intense direct contact between the rodents, tests revealed that none of the treated rodents had contracted the virus from the infected rodents and that their viral load was completely zero, while all the comparison animals were severely infected.


Lipopeptides are effective against variants

 

The team also tested the lipopeptide on cells infected with a set of corona variants, including B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 (the British and South African strains), and they found that the compound prevents the spike protein for all variants from fusing with the cell membrane such as effectively as The dominant strain.


The team suggests that these peptides could be used in any situation where an uninfected person is exposed, whether at home, school, a healthcare setting, or the community.


Antivirals are easily administered, and based on scientists' experience with other respiratory viruses, protection will be immediate and last for at least 24 hours.


The team hopes to implement this preventive approach to human clinical trials soon, with the ultimate goal of deploying treatment to help contain transmission during this pandemic and support preparedness for emerging strains and epidemics in the future.

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