EFE.- Scientists at the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) have identified a drug used so far for liver ailments that can prevent Covid-19 infection and protect against future variants of the virus, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature.
Ursodeoxycholic acid, used to treat or prevent various biliary conditions, regulates the ACE2 receptor, making it easier for the Covid-19 virus to enter in cells and can reduce infection, based on tests on animal and human organoids and tissues.
The modulation of viral receptors could “complement vaccination” and be adequate to treat covid in certain vulnerable groups, the scientific journal pointed out.
Since the substance regulates human cells, rather than attacking the virus, its administration may help protect the body from variants that may emerge in the future, the researchers say in a statement from their university.
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They identify a drug for the liver that can prevent Covid-19
“Vaccines protect us by stimulating our immune system, so that it can recognize the virus and eliminate it, or at least weaken it,” described the paper’s lead author, 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 towards new variants resistant to vaccines”, warned the scientist.
Sampaziotis and his team have investigated “alternative ways” to protect themselves from Covid-19 and have found “a way to close the door on the virus, preventing it from entering cells and protecting from infection,” he described.