Researchers develop nasal spray that could provide temporary protection against COVID-19
- Researchers at the University of Helsinki are experimenting with a nasal spray treatment for Covid-19.
- Initial tests have found that the treatment is effective in preventing the infection for up to eight hours.
- It can also work against COVID-19 variants including omicron.
AdvertisementCOVID-19 vaccines are currently the only preventive measure against the virus but there are other solutions being developed like pills, and nasal sprays. Researchers in Finland have now developed a nasal spray treatment for COVID-19 that is said to block the virus for up to eight hours. It can also provide protection against the different variants of COVID-19 including Omicron.
The nasal spray treatment is not to be confused with a vaccine as it only provides temporary protection, according to scientists from the University of Helsinki. It is being developed to act as “additional protection protection for successfully vaccinated individuals in high-risk situations, and especially for immunocompromised persons—for example, those receiving immunosuppressive therapy,” according to study author Kalle Saksela as quoted by Gizmodo.
The treatment is however only in the preliminary stages and further research is to be conducted on whether it can be effective on humans too. The nasal spray contains an antibody ‘TriSb92’ derived from the SH3 protein domain. The researchers have so far conducted experiments in a petri dish and mice and found that one dose from the nasal spray blocked the virus from reaching the cells for up to eight hours.
Since it’s a nasal spray treatment, the antibody-like molecules can be sent into the upper respiratory tract which is where most of the SARS-CoV-2 infections begin. During their experiment in a petri dish and live mice, the scientists also tested the treatment on pseudoviruses that were made to look like different variants of the coronavirus. The scientists found that the nasal spray treatment “potentially neutralizes” SARS-CoV-2 and its variants including Delta and Omicron.
The research paper was published late last month but it is yet to be peer reviewed. The experiment is also yet to be conducted on humans so we don’t know if it will actually be effective. But according to Saskela, this nasal spray treatment can work as a novel type of inhibitor for COVID-19. The treatment is also “cheap and highly manufacturable” which makes it easy to mass produce and easily accessible to people worldwide.
In India too, ITC was reported developing a nasal spray to prevent infection and transmission of COVID-19. The nasal spray is designed to stop the virus at the entry point in the nasal cavity itself. Clinical trials of the nasal spray have reportedly begun but there’s no word on when and if it will be authorised for use.
Exclusive: Pfizer plans to start human studies of its Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine before the end of January
India clocked 6.4% less new COVID-19 cases in last one day, Omicron tally reaches 4,461
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