Science

This low-cost enzyme can help in effective treatment of Covid-19

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 01, 2020 Published on October 01, 2020

The anti-oxidant enzyme can be naturally procured and is induced in various dietary supplements as well

The researchers demonstrated the enzyme’s anti-inflammatory effects, and its ability to tame cytokine storms

According to a study published in the journal Advanced Materials, a widely-used cost-effective enzyme — catalase — could have the potential to treat the novel coronavirus. This can also help prevent the multiplication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus inside the body.

The anti-oxidant enzyme can be naturally procured and is induced in various dietary supplements as well.

Study senior author Yunfeng Lu from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), US, said in a statement: “There is a lot of focus on vaccines and antiviral drugs, and rightly so.”

“In the meantime, our research suggests this enzyme could offer a very effective therapeutic solution for the treatment of hyper inflammation that occurs due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as hyper inflammation generally,” Lu added.

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The researchers, in their study, demonstrated the enzyme’s anti-inflammatory effects and the ability to tame the cytokine storms.

Cytokines are proteins that are produced in white blood cells. Cytokines play a key role in the stimulation of immune responses. However, their overactivation can lead to a “cytokine storm” that further leads to severity of symptoms, including inflammation.

The researchers also showed that catalase can protect alveolar cells, which line the human lungs, from damage due to oxidation.

The experiments showed that catalase can repress the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in rhesus macaques, a type of monkey, without noticeable toxicity, the study noted.

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Gregory Fishbein, a pathologist at UCLA, said in a statement: “This work has far-reaching implications beyond the treatment of Covid-19. Cytokine storm is a lethal condition that can complicate other infections, such as influenza, as well as non-infectious conditions, like an autoimmune disease.”

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Published on October 01, 2020
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