Researchers from the English University of Nottingham have discovered a new antiviral property of a drug that could have major implications for how we manage future epidemics – including the Corona epidemic.
The study, published in the journal “Viruses”, shows that a drug called thapsigargin, extracted from the plant Thapsia garganica, is a promising broad-spectrum antiviral that is highly effective against corona virus, respiratory cell virus (RSV) and influenza virus.
The study showed that acute respiratory virus infection caused by different viruses cannot be distinguished clinically. An antiviral can be provided that can target different types of viruses at the same time, to control the active infection and its spread.
In this study, the team of experts found that plant-derived antivirals, in small doses, trigger a highly effective, host-focused, innate antiviral immune response against three main types of human respiratory viruses – including COVID-19.
The main features, based on cellular and animal studies, that make tapsigargine a promising antiviral agent are:
Effective against viral infections when used before or during an active infection.
Able to prevent the virus from making new copies of itself in cells for at least 48 hours after a single 30-minute exposure.
It is stable in acidic pH, as it is found in the stomach, and therefore can be taken orally, so it can be taken without the need for injection or hospitalization.
Not sensitive to virus resistance.
More effective than current anti-virus options.
It is just as effective in preventing infection with coronavirus and influenza A as it is for single virus infections.
Safe as an anti-viral agent (a tapsigargine derivative was tested in prostate cancer).
University experts said: “While we are still in the early stages of research into this anti-viral drug and its effect on how viruses such as Covid 19 are treated, these results are very important.
The current pandemic highlights the need for effective antivirals to treat active infections, as well as vaccines, to prevent infection, and given that future epidemics are likely to be of animal origin, where from animal to human (zoonotic) and vice versa to animals), a generation can A new antiviral drug, such as tapsigargine, can play a major role in controlling and treating important viral infections in both humans and animals.
Thabsagargin is a key compound in the development of a new generation of powerful host-focused antivirals (as opposed to traditional antivirals that directly target viruses) that can even be adopted as a comprehensive ‘One Health’ approach to controlling human and animal viruses.
And the professor adds of the study: “Although there is a clear need for more tests, the current results strongly indicate that the drug tapsgargin and its derivatives are antiviral therapies against corona and influenza virus, and have the ability to defend us against the upcoming X disease pandemic.”