Scientists developing chewing gum that could reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission

04-12-2021 Sat 18:14 IST | IANS | Health
Scientists developing chewing gum that could reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission

New York, Dec 4:  A chewing gum laced with a plant-grown protein serves as a "trap" for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, reducing viral load in saliva and potentially tamping down transmission, finds a new study.

The researchers exposed saliva samples from Covid-19 patients to the ACE2 gum and found that levels of viral RNA fell so dramatically to be almost undetectable, indicates the study published in the journal Molecular Therapy.

"SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the salivary glands, and we know that when someone d sneezes, coughs, or speaks some of that virus can be expelled and reach others," said researcher Henry Daniell from the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

"This gum offers an opportunity to neutralise the virus in the saliva, giving us a simple way to possibly cut down on a source of disease transmission," Daniell added.

To test the chewing gum, the team grew angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in plants, paired with another compound that enables the protein to cross mucosal barriers and facilitates binding, and incorporated the resulting plant material into cinnamon-flavoured gum tablets.

Incubating samples obtained from nasopharyngeal swabs from Covid-positive patients with the gum, they showed that the ACE2 present could neutralise SARS-CoV-2 viruses.

Those initial investigations were followed by others, in which viruses, less-pathogenic than SARS-CoV-2, were modified to express the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

The team observed that the gum largely prevented the viruses or viral particles from entering cells, either by blocking the ACE2 receptor on the cells or by binding directly to the spike protein.

The research team is currently working toward obtaining permission to conduct a clinical trial to evaluate whether the approach is safe and effective when tested in people infected with SARS-CoV-2.

More News
Covid +ve woman in Telangana delivers baby at hospital gate
37 minutes ago
Prabhu Deva's 58th film, an action entertainer, is titled 'Rekla'
39 minutes ago
Late Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar's last movie poster released
43 minutes ago
Telangana Police to have special unit to tackle drugs
47 minutes ago
Hockey India congratulates Gurjit Kaur on completing 100 International Caps
51 minutes ago
TRS appoints presidents for district units ahead of 2023 polls
54 minutes ago
President's Bodyguard horse 'Virat' retires from service
57 minutes ago
Govt calls all-party meeting on Jan 31 to discuss Budget Session
3 hours ago
Adivi Sesh on 'Major': 'Important to me that his story be shown in theatres'
3 hours ago
Kamal Haasan congratulates Padma award winners from TN
3 hours ago
Mizoram police firmly combating smuggling of arms, illicit drugs: Guv Hari Babu Kambhampati
4 hours ago
Police foil attempt to hoist Tricolour at Jinnah Tower in Guntur
4 hours ago
Patriotic fervour marks R-Day celebrations in Telugu states
4 hours ago
Indian IT services firms outpace US competitors in brand value growth
4 hours ago
Hardik Pandya's 'Pushpa nani' grooves to 'Srivalli'
5 hours ago
Dhoni is one of the sharpest cricket minds I have encountered: Greg Chappell
5 hours ago
Internal rift in Congress surfaces on Azad Padma award
5 hours ago
Padma Shri for 'Bheemla Nayak' folk artiste Kinnera Mogulaiah
6 hours ago
Ram Charan unfurls national flag at Chiranjeevi Trust office on R-Day
6 hours ago
Natural ways to get rid of dry cracked heels
6 hours ago