Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases and the huge wave of Coronavirus hitting worldwide, scientists and researchers are constantly working on researches and studies about Coronavirus and the vaccines and drugs to treat positive patients. And now, an International team of scientists, from Australia and the US, have developed an experimental directly effective antiviral therapy against COVID-19 and they claim that it can reduce viral load by 99.99% and can be a new treatment for this deadly virus.
The other currently being used antivirals, such as Tamiflu, zanamivir and remdesivir, help in reducing the symptoms and recovery period. This new antiviral therapy used gene-silencing RNA technology called siRNA (small-interfering RNA) to target the virus' genome directly, which can barricade Coronavirus from growing, as well as lipid nanoparticles designed at Griffith University and City of Hope to deliver the siRNA to the lungs, the sensitive part of catching infection.
Co-lead researcher Nigel McMillan, Professor at Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ), Griffith, said, "Treatment with virus-specific siRNA reduces viral load by 99.9 per cent. These stealth nanoparticles can be delivered to a wide range of lung cells and silence viral genes." When tested positive for Covid infection in mice, the treatment with the new antiviral therapy helped in improving the survival and elimination of this disease. And, in treated patients, no virus could be found in the lungs, as per the findings published in the journal Molecular Therapy. Kevin Morris, Professor and associate director of the Center for Gene Therapy at City of Hope, said, "This treatment is designed to work on all betacoronaviruses such as the original SARS virus (SARS-CoV-1) as well as SARS-CoV-2 and any new variants that may arise in the future because it targets ultra-conserved regions in the virus' genome." He further added saying, "These nanoparticles are scalable and relatively cost-effective to produce in bulk."
In fact, the researchers also showed that the nanoparticles are stable at 4 degrees Celsius for 12 months and at room temperature for more than one month, indicating that this treatment can be used in low-resource settings to treat Covid positive patients. The results clearly show that siRNA-nanoparticle formulations can be developed as a therapy to cure Covid-19 patients and can also be used for future Coronavirus infections by attacking the virus' genome directly.
Current Covid relief options include:
- Prone positioning
- Convalescent plasma therapy
- Remdesivir drug
- Fluids and medication for viral load
- If the viral load is more, then it is better to stay at a distance
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