What’s New For COVID-19?

Alkaloids Show Potential As Treatment For COVID-19

Alkaloids are nitrogen-containing phytochemicals present in plant families, such as Amaryllidaceae, Apocynaceae, Papaveraceae, Asteraceae, and Solanaceae, with potential biological activities and pharmacological effects. Many alkaloids available in human diet are in coffee seeds [caffeine], cacao seeds [theobromine and caffeine], tea leaves [theophylline and caffeine], tomatoes [tomatine], and potatoes [solanine].

Alkaloids are known to be effective in the treatment of various diseases, such as neurological disorders, cancer, metabolic disorders, and infectious diseases. These secondary metabolites from plants are also shown to have prominent effects on viruses, such as influenza viruses, herpes simplex virus, human immunodeficiency virus, and hepatitis C virus.

To further study these organic compounds, researchers from Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Iran, and Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Chile, reviewed the role of alkaloids as a potential antiviral, specifically against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2]. They presented the chemistry, plant sources, and antiviral effects of alkaloids and their anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect for their therapeutic potential [This is preliminary; more studies are required to validate their therapeutic action in COVID-19] — Courtesy: Dr Ramya Dwivedi, PhD @ ©News Medical

‘Cat’s Claw’ Extract Inhibits Replication Of SARS-CoV-2  

Researchers in Columbia and Peru have shown that Uncaria tomentosa — a woody vine native to South America known as ‘Cat’s claw’ — exerts in vitro antiviral activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2], the agent that causes coronavirus disease-2019 [COVID-19]. The study found that the hydroalcoholic extract of Uncaria tomentosa inhibited SARS-CoV-2 viral replication and reduced its cytopathic effect on Vero E6 cells.

The researchers say Uncaria tomentosa has already been widely used as an immunomodulatory agent and that previous studies have shown the extract has a range of effects on several viruses. However, the team — from the University of Antioquia-UdeA in Medellín, Columbia and the National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru — say this is the first study to test the effects of Uncaria tomentosa on SARS-CoV-2.

According to Wildeman Zapata and colleagues, who conducted the study, Uncaria tomentosa reduced the viral titre and cytopathic effect of SARS-CoV-2 in the Vero E6 cell line after just 48 hours of treatment. They contend, “Based on our results, Uncaria tomentosa is a promising medicinal herb to combat COVID-19, but it is necessary to continue with animal models followed by clinical trials to validate our results in the context of COVID-19 patients.” — Courtesy: Sally Robertson, BSc @ ©News Medical

 

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