“Antiviral Nasal Spray: COVID-19 Edition”


Madelyn Miel, Staff Writer

As many people who have allergies know, there are ways to alleviate symptoms of allergies. Some people use a nasal spray to decongest and alleviate the discomfort. Something similar is now being developed that will hopefully prevent COVID-19.

Before anything medical can be administered, new medicines must be tested many times. The researchers at Columbia University have been busy at work doing just that. These researchers were using ferrets in their studies, as they have a similar respiratory system as humans and transmit easily and quickly with COVID. This gives the scientists a good idea if it will work on humans. During the experiments, the researchers have successfully blocked the transmission of COVID-19 in the ferrets using the antiviral spray. This suggests to the scientists that a nasal spray can block transmission in people including the new variants. 

Within the experiment, the scientists used the spray on a certain amount of ferrets and paired them with ferrets who weren’t treated or ill, along with one COVID infected ferret. In 24 hours the normal ferrets were sick while the ones treated with the spray were not infected at all. This shows the spray is effective as the results varied the same within each group of treated, both uninfected and infected.

This spray that was given to the ferrets, and hopefully is available to the market, will contain a compound called lipopeptide, which is designed for the virus to enter the host’s cells. Lipopeptide is effective for preventing a virus to fuse within the host cell’s membrane which is what will infect the host. It prevents the virus from fusing by stopping the spike protein from adopting a compact shape which is necessary for fusion and entering the host’s cell.

This spray will be inexpensive to produce and has a long shelf life. This is important for consumer purpose as it won’t be expensive so it will hopefully be able to be purchased by many and can be stored in stores or at home for a long time.

Hopefully, this spray will be helpful within the COVID cases worldwide along with the administration of vaccines.

Sources Cited