Researchers fromUniversity of Pittsburgh in collaboration with the Magee Women's Research Institute they are developing a nasal spray that they believe could prevent a coronavirus infection.
The active substance used in the nasal spray is a protein called Q-Griffithsin, extracted from algae and tobacco plants. Researchers believe that this protein molecule will bind to the coronavirus and prevent it from infecting healthy cells.
The protein molecule was originally developed to prevent several other infections. Animal studies have revealed that Q-Griffithsin has worked effectively against MERS, SARS, hepatitis, Ebola and many other viruses.
Interestingly, when tested in the laboratory using lung tissue, the researchers noted that the protein prevented the coronavirus from replicating.
Kenneth Palmer, director of the Center for Predictive Medicine for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Louisville says the remedy "has good potential to be used as a topical antiviral. Most of our business over the past 10 years has been directed at to the development of this product for anti-HIV activity, but we have also tested it with other viruses ".
How does the nasal spray that would prevent coronavirus work?
The nasal spray works by blocking the coronavirus it causes COVID-19 where it enters the body: nose and mouth. Neutralize the virus before it enters the lungs and starts causing clinical complications. The researchers also pointed out that the nasal spray has some properties that would make it even superior to vaccines.
"One advantage it has over vaccines is its broad spectrum of activity against a number of different coronaviruses. The other advantage is for immunosuppressed people, who are not successful with vaccines. This is an alternative for them too." Next Pittsburgh quoted Dr. Lisa Rohan, the main researcher of the nasal spray project.
Animal testing begins
The researchers will start with animal testing next month and conduct human trials later. They are also investigating what SARS-CoV-2 does to the lungs at the cellular level.