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Coronavirus Breakthroughs

Coronavirus Breakthroughs

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, March 16, 2020/Categories: sustainability, environment

                 Infectious Coronavirus microbe  (credit: CDC)

Breakthroughs in controlling the coronavirus has been made by Australian laboratory reseachers. Investigators with the Centre for Clinical Research in Queensland and the Doherty Institute for Infection and Imunity in Melbourne report exciting results into controlling the virus.

The scientists evaluated both exisiting drugs to determin their effect on the virus while the Melbourne investigators tested a new technology known as a "molecular clamp" to control the virus’s properties. Such a molecular tool forces a virus into its standard conformation when presented as an antigen to a person's immune system. The process tries to provoke immunity against the virus bearing that "native" structure.

The Queensland group found two drugs, previously approved for treating malaria and AIDS, completely eliminated the coronavirus in test tubes. David Peterson, who led the research, noted that: one of the medications given to "some of the first people to test positive for COVID-19 had already resulted in disappearance of the virus." Paterson, also a physician at the Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital, continued, "it isn’t a stretch to label the drugs a treatment or a cure as a potentially effective treatment."

The Melbourne team announced they had mapped the immune responses from one of Australia’s first COVID-19 patients and showed the woman's was able to fight the virus and recover from the infection. One investigator commented: “We showed that even though COVID-19 is caused by a new virus, in an otherwise healthy person, a robust immune response across different cell types was associated with clinical recovery, similar to what we see in influenza.”  Their results were published their results in Nature Medicine.

With both breakthoughs in potential development of effective therapies for treating the novel virus, additional testing and trials will be needed to confirm these early results. However, effective treaments are definitely emerging.

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