NEW DELHI: While the world is hoping for vaccines to control the covid-19 pandemic, researchers at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Georgia have found a way to stifle the spread of the virus. The researchers found that treatment with SARS-CoV-2 infection with a new antiviral medicine, Molnupiravir, completely suppressed the transmission of the virus within 24 hours.
The researchers considered it important to stop the widespread spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the community until mass vaccination to manage covid-19 and mitigate the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic.
Because the drug can be taken orally, treatment can be started early for three benefits: delaying patients’ progression to serious illness, shortening the infection phase, easing the emotional and socio-economic costs of long-term patient isolation, and quickly silencing local outbreaks. , said the scientists.
Dr. Georgia, a distinguished university professor, The group, led by Richard Plemper, initially found the drug to be strong against the flu virus.
“This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug that quickly blocks the transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” Plemper said, calling the drug a change of game.
“We noted from the outset that Molnupiravir or MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 has broad-spectrum activity against respiratory RNA viruses and that oral drug treatment of infected animals reduces the amount of virus particles excreted by several degrees, dramatically reducing transmission,” said Plemper. adding that these properties made MK-4482 / EIDD / 2801 a strong candidate for pharmacological control of covid-19.
In a study published annually Natural microbiology, The Plemper team converted MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 to SARS-CoV-2 and used a ferret model to test the effect of the drug on stopping the spread of the virus.
“We believe that ferrets are an appropriate model of transmission because they spread SARS-CoV-2 easily, but generally do not develop a serious disease that is very similar to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in young adults,” said Dr. Robert Cox, a postdoctoral fellow at Plemper co-author.
The researchers infected ferrets with SARS-CoV-2 and started treatment with MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 when the animals began to shed the virus from their noses.
“When we housed the infected animals in the same cage and then treated the source animals with untreated ferrets, none of the contacts became infected,” said Josef Wolf, a Phemper laboratory doctoral student and co-author of the study. By comparison, all placebo-treated ferret contacts were infected.
If these ferret-based data are used in humans, covid-19 patients treated with this medicinal product may become non-infectious within 24 hours of starting treatment.
MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 is in advanced phase II / III clinical trials against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The study was funded by grants from the National Health Service from the National Institutes of Health / National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Georgia.