COVID-19 therapies are fast gaining popularity due to the promise of better treatment and quick recovery it entails against the deadly COVID-19 virus. Making further progress in the COVID-19 Therapeutic Market, researchers have successfully designed a proof-of-concept therapeutic that makes use of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is defective and works towards moving the disease-inducing version of the virus into extinction.
The team created a synthetic defective SARS-CoV-2 virus that, while being harmless to human beings, interferes highly with the real virus’ growth, which could potentially be both the disease and the synthetic virus. In the present study, researchers, through experiments, demonstrated that the wild-type [disease-causing] SARS-CoV-2 virus actually facilitates the duplication and spread of the synthetic virus. Thus, the virus effectively promotes its now demise. A form of this synthetic construct might also be used as a self-promoting COVID-19 self-promoting antiviral therapy.
Researchers explained that whenever a virus attacks a cell, it sticks itself onto the surface of the cell and then inoculates the genetic material present within it into the cell. Thereafter, the cell is tricked into duplicating the genetic material and packaging of the virus into virions. These virions burst from the cell and go off to infect the remaining cells.
Through experiments, the findings concluded in the study suggest that the synthetic genome of the cell can be replicated around three times fast in comparison to wild-type genome ad as a consequence, reduction of the wild-type viral load could half within only 24 hours. Further, they also realized that the DI genome augmented quality 3.3 times as fast as the wild-type virus.
The study also presented that a 50% reduction in virus experienced over 24 hours is not entirely enough for therapeutic purposes. The situation arises due to the fact that as the DI genomes increase in frequency in the cell, the reduction in the wild-type virus amount would in itself lead to the death of both the virus as well as the DI genome. This happens because the DI genome also cannot sustain itself once the wild-type virus has driven itself into extinction.
The team added that further experiments would need to be undertaken in order to verify the true extent of SARS-CoV-2 is to be used as an antiviral treatment. They suggested that the studies could be repeated within cell lies of human lugs and against the more recent SARS-CoV-2 variants. The researchers are hopeful and confident that once additional research and some fine-tuning are done on the matter, a version of this synthetic DI could be applicable against COVID-19 as a self-sustaining therapeutic.
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