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Publication Detail
SARS-CoV-2 inhibition using a mucoadhesive, amphiphilic chitosan that may serve as an anti-viral nasal spray
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Pyrć K, Milewska A, Duran EB, Botwina P, Dabrowska A, Jedrysik M, Benedyk M, Lopes R, Arenas-Pinto A, Badr M, Mellor R, Kalber TL, Fernandez-Reyes D, Schätzlein AG, Uchegbu IF
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  • Journal:
    Scientific Reports
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  • Notes:
    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
There are currently no cures for coronavirus infections, making the prevention of infections the only course open at the present time. The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult to prevent, as the infection is spread by respiratory droplets and thus effective, scalable and safe preventive interventions are urgently needed. We hypothesise that preventing viral entry into mammalian nasal epithelial cells may be one way to limit the spread of COVID-19. Here we show that N-palmitoyl-N-monomethyl-N,N-dimethyl-N,N,N-trimethyl-6-O-glycolchitosan (GCPQ), a positively charged polymer that has been through an extensive Good Laboratory Practice toxicology screen, is able to reduce the infectivity of SARS-COV-2 in A549ACE2+ and Vero E6 cells with a log removal value of - 3 to - 4 at a concentration of 10-100 μg/ mL (p < 0.05 compared to untreated controls) and to limit infectivity in human airway epithelial cells at a concentration of 500 μg/ mL (p < 0.05 compared to untreated controls). In vivo studies using transgenic mice expressing the ACE-2 receptor, dosed nasally with SARS-COV-2 (426,000 TCID50/mL) showed a trend for nasal GCPQ (20 mg/kg) to inhibit viral load in the respiratory tract and brain, although the study was not powered to detect statistical significance. GCPQ's electrostatic binding to the virus, preventing viral entry into the host cells, is the most likely mechanism of viral inhibition. Radiolabelled GCPQ studies in mice show that at a dose of 10 mg/kg, GCPQ has a long residence time in mouse nares, with 13.1% of the injected dose identified from SPECT/CT in the nares, 24 h after nasal dosing. With a no observed adverse effect level of 18 mg/kg in rats, following a 28-day repeat dose study, clinical testing of this polymer, as a COVID-19 prophylactic is warranted.
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Infection & Population Health
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