London: A plant-based antiviral treatment was found to be effective in blocking all strains of the coronavirus, even the highly infectious delta variant.
Scientists from the University of Nottingham in the UK found that the delta variant binds to cells more quickly than other strains and infects nearby cells.
In co-infection with two different SARS-CoV-2 variants, the delta variant also outnumbered its co-infecting partners.
The study also showed that a new natural antiviral drug, called thapsigargin (TG), was recently discovered by the same group of scientists to block other viruses, including the original SARS-CoV-2. The all-new SARS-CoV-2, including the delta variant, is said to be equally effective in its treatment.
In their previous studies, the team demonstrated that plant-derived antivirals elicit a highly effective broad-spectrum host-focused antiviral innate immune response against three major types of human respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, at small doses.
In this latest study, published in the journal Virulence, the team set out to find out how well the emerging alpha, beta and delta variants of SARS-CoV-2 multiply relative to each other as a type of infection in cells. are able to do. Co-infection- where cells are infected with two types at the same time.
The team also wanted to know how effective TG was in preventing these emerging forms.
Of the three, the delta variant showed the highest ability to multiply in cells, and was able to spread directly to neighboring cells. Its amplification rate at 24 h of infection was four times that of the alpha variant and nine times that of the beta variant.
In co-infection, delta variants enhanced the multiplication of their co-infecting partners.
Furthermore, co-infections with alpha and delta or alpha and beta gave a multiplicative synergy, where the total new virus production was greater than the sum of the respective single variant infections.
Similarly, TG was effective in inhibiting all variants during active infection.
“Our new study gives us a better insight into the dominance of delta variants,” said lead author Professor Qin Chow Chang in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the university. Even though we have shown that this variant is clearly the most infectious and promotes the production of other variants in co-infection, we are pleased to show that Tg is equally effective against all of them.
Together these results indicate the antiviral potential of TG as a post-exposure prophylactic and an active therapeutic agent, Chang said.
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