Sweden : Researchers at Uppsala University have discovered that an efficient approach of treating the coronavirus behind the 2003 SARS epidemic additionally works on the intently associated SARS-CoV-2 virus, the offender within the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The substance involved is nitric oxide (NO), a compound with antiviral properties that’s produced by the physique itself. The examine is printed within the journal Redox Biology.
“To our knowledge, nitric oxide is the only substance shown so far to have a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2,” says Åke Lundkvist, a professor at Uppsala University, who led the examine.
Since there may be nonetheless no efficient treatment for COVID-19, the primary emphasis within the therapies examined has been on relieving signs. This can shorten hospital stays and scale back mortality. To date, nevertheless, it has not been potential to show that any of those therapies has affected the precise virus behind the an infection.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a compound produced naturally within the physique. Its features embody appearing like a hormone in controlling numerous organs. It regulates, for instance, stress within the blood vessels and blood movement between and inside organs. In acute lung failure, NO will be administered as inhaled fuel, in low concentrations, to spice up the blood-oxygen saturation stage. During the SARS (extreme acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus epidemic of 2003, this remedy was tried out with success. One key cause for the profitable outcomes was that irritation within the sufferers’ lungs decreased. This property of nitric oxide – the safety it affords towards infections, by being each antibacterial and antiviral – is the very one which now pursuits the researchers.
Their examine builds additional on a discovery concerning the coronavirus that induced the primary SARS epidemic. In 2003, NO launched from S-Nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) proved to have a definite antiviral impact. The researchers from Uppsala University and Karolinska Institute have now investigated how the novel coronavirus concerned within the present pandemic, SARS CoV-2, reacts to the compound. And SNAP was proven to a transparent antiviral impact on this virus, too – and an impact that grew stronger because the dose was raised.
“Until we get a vaccine that works, our hope is that inhalation of NO might be an effective form of treatment. The dosage and timing of starting treatment probably play an important part in the outcome, and now need to be explored as soon as possible,” Åke Lundkvist says.