The sea sponge, a solution to put an end to COVID-19?

The sea sponge, a solution to put an end to COVID-19?

The sea sponge would have properties that would prevent the infection of human cells by COVID-19 and would make it possible to create many antivirals to deal with the multiple variants of the virus, according to a recent study from the University of British Columbia .

• Read also: COVID-19: six more deaths in Quebec

More than 350 compounds derived from natural sources have been screened, including from fungi and plants, to find new treatments to prevent infection of variants like Omicron.

“This interdisciplinary research team is highlighting the important possibilities of biodiversity and natural resources and uncovering nature-based solutions for global health issues such as COVID-19,” the Dr.r François Jean, lead author and associate professor in the department of microbiology and immunology.

Human lung cells were soaked in solutions made from these compounds and infected with COVID-19.

After the experiment, infection was shown to be reduced with 26 compounds, and three of them were effective at low doses.

“The advantage of these compounds is that they target the cells, rather than the virus, by preventing the virus from replicating and helping the cell to recover,” said co-first author Dr Jimena Pérez-Vargas, research associate in the department of microbiology and immunology.

“Human cells evolve more slowly than viruses, so these compounds could work against future variants and other viruses like influenza if they use the same mechanisms,” she said.

The three most effective compounds have also been found in Canada, namely alotaketal C from a marine sponge, bafilomycin D from a marine bacterium and holyrin A from a marine bacterium.

These elements would also be effective against the Delta variant and several Omicron variants.

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