London, Dec 5: Scientists at the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) have identified a drug used so far for liver diseases that can prevent SARS-Cov-2 infection, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Nature. Can protect against future variants of the virus.
Ursodeoxycholic acid, used to treat or prevent various biliary conditions, modulates the ACE2 receptor, which facilitates the entry of the SARS-CoV-2 virus into cells and may reduce infection, in animals and According to tests on human organs and tissues.
The scientific journal said that modifying viral receptors could “complement vaccination” and be suitable for treating COVID in some vulnerable groups.
Because the substance modulates human cells, rather than targeting the virus itself, its administration may help protect the body from variants that may emerge in the future, the researchers noted in a statement from their university.
“Vaccines protect us by boosting our immune system, so that it recognizes the virus and kills it, or at least weakens it,” said Photios Sampaziotis, lead author of the study.
“But vaccines don’t work for everyone, for example, in patients with weakened immune systems, and not everyone has access to them. Also, the virus can mutate into new vaccine-resistant variants,” the scientist added. Warned.
Sampaziotis and his team have investigated “alternative ways” to protect themselves from SARS-CoV-2 and have found “a way to shut the door on the virus, preventing it from entering cells and preventing infection.”