New Plant-Based Antiviral Drug Effective at Blocking Covid Variants

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New Plant-Based Antiviral Drug Effective at Blocking Covid Variants

The University of Nottingham has discovered a new plant-based antiviral treatment for Covid-19. The treatment is now believed to be just as effective at treating all variants of the virus. 

In a new study, researchers including Professor Kin-Chow Chang from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham, the Delta variant showed the highest ability to multiply in cells.  The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 was also most able to directly spread to neighboring cells and boosted the multiplication of its co-infected partners.

In the study the researchers also tested the antiviral drug called thapsigargin (TG), which was recently discovered by the group that it was able to block other viruses and was just as effective at treating all of the newer SARS-CoV-2 variants.

One of their studies showed that at small doses, the antiviral drug is able to trigger a strong innate immune response against three types of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.

In the latest study the team’s goal was to identify how well the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2 are able to multiply in cells relative to each other. In addition to that, they wanted to know just how effective TG was at suppressing the variants.

Results found that all of the SARS-CoV-2 variants were highly responsive to TG treatment. A single dose of TG blocked the variant infections and every co-infection.  TG was also efficient at inhibiting each variant during infection.

Professor Kin Chow Chang, who is the lead author of the study, says that their “new study has given us better insights into the dominance of the Delta variant. Even though we have shown that this variant is clearly the most infectious and promotes production of other variants in co-infections, we are pleased to have shown that TG is just as effective against all of them.”

He continued, “Together, these results point to the antiviral potential of TG as a post-exposure prophylactic and an active therapeutic agent.”

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