Coronavirus: Nasal spray may prevent infection

A nasal spray that prevents the coronavirus from entering the body completely protected the weasels in which it was tested. At least that’s according to a small study published Thursday by an international team of scientists. The study, which was conducted exclusively on animals and has not yet been evaluated by peers, was evaluated by a number of health scientists, who were approached for this purpose by the New York Times. If the spray, which according to scientists is non-toxic and stable, proven effective in humans, could offer a new way of fighting pandemic. One spray a day on the nose could act like a vaccine. “It is very encouraging that we have something new that seems to be working against the coronavirus,” he told the Times. Arturo Casanteval, head of the immunology department at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who is not involved in the research. “I can imagine such a drug being added to our quiver.” This work has been done for months by scientists at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and Columbia University Medical Center. The team needs additional funding to conduct clinical trials in humans as well. Dr. Anna Moscona, a pediatrician and microbiologist in Columbia and one of the study’s authors, says she has filed a patent application for the product, and hopes Columbia University will reach out to the US Government’s Light Speed ​​Operation or major pharmaceutical companies looking for of the deadly virus. The spray attacks the virus directly. It contains a lipopeptide, a cholesterol molecule that binds to an amino acid chain (the constituents of proteins). This particular lipopeptide fits perfectly with a number of amino acids in the protein ‘crown’ of the virus, through which the pathogen attaches to cells in the human airways or lungs. Before the coronavirus manages to insert its RNA into a cell, the must essentially open, exposing two amino acid chains, in order to be integrated into the cell walls. As the crown closes again to complete the process, the spray lipopeptide enters it, attaches to one of the crown amino acid chains and does not prevent the virus from attaching. “It is like closing a zipper, but putting it in. “Another zipper so that the two sides can not be joined,” Matteo Poroto, a microbiologist at Columbia University and one of the study’s authors, told the Times. The scientists’ work is described in detail in an article posted on bioRxiv on Thursday morning, while it has been submitted to the scientific journal Science for crossbreeding by peers. Peter Hotez, rector of the National Department of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said the treatment “looks very promising.” “What I would like to know is how easy it is to mass-produce,” he said. six weasels, which were then divided into pairs and placed in three cages. Inside each cage were two weasels sprayed with placebo and another weeded with coronavirus a day or two earlier. Weasels are used by scientists to study influenza, SARS and other respiratory infections. because they can be infected by viruses through the nose just as much as humans. However, weasels infect each other through contact with feces, but also through scratches and bites. After 24 hours in the same cage, none of the weasels that received the spray became infected with the disease. “Reproduction of the virus was completely prevented,” the authors write. “The protective spray adheres to cells in the nose and lungs and lasts for 24 hours,” Moscona said. “If it works just as effectively in humans, you could sleep in the same bed with a carrier or be with your stuck kids and stay safe,” he told the Times. Amino acids come from a part of the protein crown of the coronavirus that is rarely mutated. Scientists tested it against four different variants of the virus. Among them are the famous executives of “Uhan” and “Italy”, but also coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS. In cell cultures, it proved completely protective against all strains of the pandemic virus, while doing quite well against SARS and providing partial protection against MERS. Lipoprotein can be produced at low cost in the form of a white powder that does not require refrigeration, explains Moscona. A doctor or pharmacist could mix the powder with sugar and water and make a nasal spray. Other laboratories have designed antibodies and “mini-proteins” that are also able to prevent coronavirus from entering cells, but these substances have more complex chemical composition and may require low temperatures for maintenance. Moscona and Poroto have been working together for 15 years on respective peptides, they told the Times. Some have developed measles, Nipah virus, parainfluenza and other viruses. But these products have not attracted much commercial interest, according to Porotos, because there is already an effective measles vaccine, while the deadly Nipah virus occurs sporadically in remote areas such as Bangladesh and Malaysia. Monoclonal antibodies to the new coronavirus have been shown to prevent and treat infection, but their production is expensive, requires cooling and is injectable. Australian scientists have tried nasal sprays for coronavirus in weasels, but it works by boosting the immune system rather than attacking the virus itself. Because lipopeptides can be transported in powder form, they could be used even in rural communities in poor countries. “The main thing she was interested in was transporting the product to poor countries that may never have access to monoclonal antibodies and mRNA vaccines, which could be used to cool them,” she told the Times. are available soon in the US or Europe. But her experience in this field is small, as she says: “I have always been a simple scientist”, she explains. “I have never been involved in drug development, nor have I asked for approval from the FDA or anything like that.” Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news See all the latest news from Greece and the world,

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