Even though the cases of coronavirus have reduced, the threat is very much there. COVID-19 virus is omnipresent and we don’t see it leaving anytime soon. Most of the world’s population is fully vaccinated which has contributed to the reduction of the transmission but to eradicate it, blocking the transmission is crucial. Researchers from the Gladstone Institutes have developed a new antiviral therapy that may block the transmission of coronavirus.
For the uninitiated, covid-19 virus gets into the respiratory system as soon as you get infected. The virus particles are there in your breath and as you exhale, the virus expels into the air. You don’t know you are covid positive and so, you are spreading the virus into the air unknowingly. This process is called viral shedding. Reducing virus shedding can limit the transmission. With this approach, a research team from the Gladstone Institute discovered a new treatment named- Therapeutic Interfering Particle(TIP) which is found to be effective in reducing the amount of virus shed from the infected person. This study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Therapeutic Interfering Particle- The Antiviral Therapy
TIP is an intranasal treatment whose single dose is found to reduce virus shedding. This can protect others who come in contact with the infected human or animal. This antiviral lessens the symptoms of covid to prevent its severity and also reduces the virus shedding.
Since coronavirus mutates and evolves, it is difficult to make a drug that works on all variants. This virus, thus, becomes resistant to drugs and probably that is why scientists have not been able to develop any permanent treatment or drug for covid.
This new antiviral therapy can treat the virus by preventing it from replicating inside the human body. The TIPs penetrate the cells where the virus is present and target it. These TIPs stay active until all the virus strains are eradicated. According to one of the leading researchers from the institute, TIPs are ideal as these evolve with the virus and so, is no scope for drug resistance.
The research team has tested this antiviral therapy on hamsters. Infected hamsters were given antiviral TIPs and were kept under monitoring. It was found that one out of five hamsters tested negative for coronavirus traces. In other words, the virus became undetectable. The team has requested human trials for TIPs from the FDA and is awaiting approval. The final result can only be obtained after the trials. However, the findings so far look promising and if this antiviral therapy gets FDA approval, this can be a breakthrough for covid treatment.
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