Scientists identify liver drug capable of preventing Covid – News

Scientists at the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, have identified a drug used so far for liver diseases that can prevent infection by Sars-CoV-2 and protect against future variants of the virus, according to a study published this Monday (5). ), in the journal Nature.

Ursodeoxycholic acid, used to treat or prevent various biliary conditions, regulates the ACE2 receptor — which facilitates the entry of the Sars-CoV-2 virus into cells — and may reduce infection, according to tests in organoids and animal and human tissues.

Modulation of viral receptors may “complement vaccination” and be suitable for the treatment of Covid in certain vulnerable groups, noted the scientific journal.

As the substance regulates human cells, rather than targeting the virus, its administration can help protect the body from variants that may arise in the future, note the researchers in a statement from the university.

“Vaccines protect us by stimulating our immune system so that it can recognize the virus and eliminate it, or at least weaken it,” said lead author of the study, Fotios Sampaziotis.

“But vaccines don’t work for everyone — for example, in patients with weakened immune systems — and not everyone has access to them. In addition, the virus can mutate into new vaccine-resistant variants”, warned the scientist.

Sampaziotis and his team investigated “alternative ways” to protect themselves from Sars-CoV-2 and found “a way to close the door on the virus, preventing it from entering cells and protecting against infections”, he described.

People who eat at least five eggs a week are healthier

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