MUST READ! COVID-19 Supplements: Chinese Researchers In Wuhan Discover That Curcumin Has Antiviral Effects On Certain Coronaviruses
: Scientists from the Wuhan University of Bioengineering in China say that curcumin, a natural compound found in the spice turmeric, could help eliminate certain coronaviruses especially an alpha-group coronavirus that infects pigs.
The new research in China showed that curcumin can prevent transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), an alpha-group coronavirus that infects pigs, from infecting cells. At higher doses, the compound was also found to kill virus particles.
The research findings were published in the Journal Of General Virology. https://www.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/jgv/10.1099/jgv.0.001466
Professor Dr Lilan Xie from the department of applied biotechnology research centre at the Wuhan University of Bioengineering told Thailand Medical News, “Emerging coronaviruses represent serious threats to human and animal health worldwide, and no approved therapeutics are currently available. Here, we used Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) as the alpha-coronavirus model, and investigated the antiviral properties of curcumin against TGEV. Our results demonstrated that curcumin strongly inhibited TGEV proliferation and viral protein expression in a dose-dependent manner. We also observed that curcumin exhibited direct virucidal abilities in a dose-, temperature- and time-dependent manner.”
Dr Xie added, “Furthermore, time-of-addition assays showed that curcumin mainly acted in the early phase of TGEV replication. Notably, in an adsorption assay, curcumin at 40 µM resulted in a reduction in viral titers of 3.55 log TCID50 ml–1, indicating that curcumin possesses excellent inhibitory effects on the adsorption of TGEV. Collectively, we demonstrate for the first time that curcumin has virucidal activity and virtual inhibition against TGEV, suggesting that curcumin might be a candidate drug for effective control of TGEV infection.”
Viral infection with TGEV, which is characterized by diarrhea, severe dehydration and death, is highly infectious and invariably fatal in piglets younger than two weeks. There are currently no approved treatments for alpha-coronaviruses and although there is a vaccine for TGEV, it is not effective in preventing the spread of the virus.
To assess and determine the potential antiviral properties of curcumin, the research team treated experimental cells with various concentrations of the compound, before attempting to infect them with TGEV. They found that higher concentrations of curcumin reduced the number of virus particles in the cell culture.
The study suggests that curcumin affects TGEV in a number of ways: by directly killing the virus before it is able to infect the cell, by integrating with the viral envelope to inactivate the virus, and by altering the metabolism of cells to prevent viral entry.
Dr Xie who is also the lead author of the study said, “Curcumin has a significant inhibitory effect on TGEV adsorption step and a certain direct inactivation effect, suggesting that curcumin has great potential in the prevention of TGEV infection.”
In the past, Curcumin
has been shown to inhibit the replication of some types of virus, including dengue virus, hepatitis B, and Zika virus. The compound has also been found to have a number of significant biological effects, including antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial activities.
The compound curcumin was chosen for this research due to having low side effects according to Dr Xie, who added that “There are great difficulties in the prevention and control of viral diseases, especially when there are no effective vaccines. Traditional Chinese medicine and its active ingredients are ideal screening libraries for antiviral drugs because of their advantages, such as convenient acquisition and low side effects.”
The study team now hope to continue their research in vivo, using an animal model to assess whether the inhibiting properties of curcumin would be seen in a more complex system.
Dr Xie added, “Further studies will be required, to evaluate the inhibitory effect in vivo and explore the potential mechanisms of curcumin against TGEV, which will lay a foundation for the comprehensive understanding of the antiviral mechanisms and application of curcumin”
The team is also planning to next test the effects of curcumin on beta coronaviruses such as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
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