A remedy for parasites can become a successful medicine in the fight against the spread of coronavirus, experts from the Scripps Institute (USA) said. The results of the study are published in the scientific journal ACS Infectious Disease.
The substances contained in salicylanilides — preparations for parasites — are effective against certain infections, which were proved ten to fifteen years ago. However, according to the authors of the new work, the scope of such drugs is usually limited to the intestines, and sometimes they can be toxic to the body.
When the world faced a pandemic last year, scientists decided to test the effect of salicylanilides on COVID-19, taking into account all the antiviral properties of the substance. One of the compounds (No. 11) was distinguished by passing through the intestines and being absorbed into the bloodstream without causing toxicity.
The study showed that it also prevents the infection of cells. “The connection blocks the output of the viral material, and it simply disintegrates. This process does not allow SARS-CoV-2 to replicate,” said one of the authors of the work, Kim Janda.
In experiments on mice, salicylanilides No. 11 reduced the levels of inflammation, as well as interleukin-6 — a protein that acts as a key factor in inflammation and, as a result, cytokine storm.
Now the scientists plan to confirm their findings in complex animal tests and then conduct clinical studies. In their opinion, in the conditions of the emergence of more aggressive strains of SARS-CoV-2, the drug will be able to protect people, especially those who do not have the opportunity to be vaccinated.