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Hypericin for COVID-19

Hypericin has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Sharun et al., A comprehensive review on pharmacologic agents, immunotherapies and supportive therapeutics for COVID-19, Narra J, doi:10.52225/narra.v2i3.92
The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has affected many countries throughout the world. As urgency is a necessity, most efforts have focused on identifying small molecule drugs that can be repurposed for use as anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. Although several drug candidates have been identified using in silico method and in vitro studies, most of these drugs require the support of in vivo data before they can be considered for clinical trials. Several drugs are considered promising therapeutic agents for COVID-19. In addition to the direct-acting antiviral drugs, supportive therapies including traditional Chinese medicine, immunotherapies, immunomodulators, and nutritional therapy could contribute a major role in treating COVID-19 patients. Some of these drugs have already been included in the treatment guidelines, recommendations, and standard operating procedures. In this article, we comprehensively review the approved and potential therapeutic drugs, immune cells-based therapies, immunomodulatory agents/drugs, herbs and plant metabolites, nutritional and dietary for COVID-19.
Comunale et al., The Functional Implications of Broad Spectrum Bioactive Compounds Targeting RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase (RdRp) in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Viruses, doi:10.3390/v15122316
Background: As long as COVID-19 endures, viral surface proteins will keep changing and new viral strains will emerge, rendering prior vaccines and treatments decreasingly effective. To provide durable targets for preventive and therapeutic agents, there is increasing interest in slowly mutating viral proteins, including non-surface proteins like RdRp. Methods: A scoping review of studies was conducted describing RdRp in the context of COVID-19 through MEDLINE/PubMed and EMBASE. An iterative approach was used with input from content experts and three independent reviewers, focused on studies related to either RdRp activity inhibition or RdRp mechanisms against SARS-CoV-2. Results: Of the 205 records screened, 43 studies were included in the review. Twenty-five evaluated RdRp activity inhibition, and eighteen described RdRp mechanisms of existing drugs or compounds against SARS-CoV-2. In silico experiments suggested that RdRp inhibitors developed for other RNA viruses may be effective in disrupting SARS-CoV-2 replication, indicating a possible reduction of disease progression from current and future variants. In vitro, in vivo, and human clinical trial studies were largely consistent with these findings. Conclusions: Future risk mitigation and treatment strategies against forthcoming SARS-CoV-2 variants should consider targeting RdRp proteins instead of surface proteins.
Wang et al., Stand Up to Stand Out: Natural Dietary Polyphenols Curcumin, Resveratrol, and Gossypol as Potential Therapeutic Candidates against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection, Nutrients, doi:10.3390/nu15183885
The COVID-19 pandemic has stimulated collaborative drug discovery efforts in academia and the industry with the aim of developing therapies and vaccines that target SARS-CoV-2. Several novel therapies have been approved and deployed in the last three years. However, their clinical application has revealed limitations due to the rapid emergence of viral variants. Therefore, the development of next-generation SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic agents with a high potency and safety profile remains a high priority for global health. Increasing awareness of the “back to nature” approach for improving human health has prompted renewed interest in natural products, especially dietary polyphenols, as an additional therapeutic strategy to treat SARS-CoV-2 patients, owing to its good safety profile, exceptional nutritional value, health-promoting benefits (including potential antiviral properties), affordability, and availability. Herein, we describe the biological properties and pleiotropic molecular mechanisms of dietary polyphenols curcumin, resveratrol, and gossypol as inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants as observed in in vitro and in vivo studies. Based on the advantages and disadvantages of dietary polyphenols and to obtain maximal benefits, several strategies such as nanotechnology (e.g., curcumin-incorporated nanofibrous membranes with antibacterial-antiviral ability), lead optimization (e.g., a methylated analog of curcumin), combination therapies (e.g., a specific combination of plant extracts and micronutrients), and broad-spectrum activities (e.g., gossypol broadly inhibits coronaviruses) have also been emphasized as positive factors in the facilitation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug development to support effective long-term pandemic management and control.
Srivastava et al., A Brief Review on Medicinal Plants-At-Arms against COVID-19, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases, doi:10.1155/2023/7598307
COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 has impacted human livelihood globally. Strenuous efforts have been employed for its control and prevention; however, with recent reports on mutated strains with much higher infectivity, transmissibility, and ability to evade immunity developed from previous SARS-CoV-2 infections, prevention alternatives must be prepared beforehand in case. We have perused over 128 recent works (found on Google Scholar, PubMed, and ScienceDirect as of February 2023) on medicinal plants and their compounds for anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity and eventually reviewed 102 of them. The clinical application and the curative effect were reported high in China and in India. Accordingly, this review highlights the unprecedented opportunities offered by medicinal plants and their compounds, candidates as the therapeutic agent, against COVID-19 by acting as viral protein inhibitors and immunomodulator in (32 clinical trials and hundreds of in silico experiments) conjecture with modern science. Moreover, the associated foreseeable challenges for their viral outbreak management were discussed in comparison to synthetic drugs.
England et al., Plants as Biofactories for Therapeutic Proteins and Antiviral Compounds to Combat COVID-19, Life, doi:10.3390/life13030617
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) had a profound impact on the world’s health and economy. Although the end of the pandemic may come in 2023, it is generally believed that the virus will not be completely eradicated. Most likely, the disease will become an endemicity. The rapid development of vaccines of different types (mRNA, subunit protein, inactivated virus, etc.) and some other antiviral drugs (Remdesivir, Olumiant, Paxlovid, etc.) has provided effectiveness in reducing COVID-19’s impact worldwide. However, the circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus has been constantly mutating with the emergence of multiple variants, which makes control of COVID-19 difficult. There is still a pressing need for developing more effective antiviral drugs to fight against the disease. Plants have provided a promising production platform for both bioactive chemical compounds (small molecules) and recombinant therapeutics (big molecules). Plants naturally produce a diverse range of bioactive compounds as secondary metabolites, such as alkaloids, terpenoids/terpenes and polyphenols, which are a rich source of countless antiviral compounds. Plants can also be genetically engineered to produce valuable recombinant therapeutics. This molecular farming in plants has an unprecedented opportunity for developing vaccines, antibodies, and other biologics for pandemic diseases because of its potential advantages, such as low cost, safety, and high production volume. This review summarizes the latest advancements in plant-derived drugs used to combat COVID-19 and discusses the prospects and challenges of the plant-based production platform for antiviral agents.
Jang et al., Drugs repurposed for COVID-19 by virtual screening of 6,218 drugs and cell-based assay, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi:10.1073/pnas.2024302118
Significance Recent spread of SARS-CoV-2 has sparked significant health concerns of emerging infectious viruses. Drug repurposing is a tangible strategy for developing antiviral agents within a short period. In general, drug repurposing starts with virtual screening of approved drugs employing docking simulations. However, the actual hit rate is low, and most of the predicted compounds are false positives. To tackle the challenges, we report advanced virtual screening with pre- and postdocking pharmacophore filtering of 6,218 drugs for COVID-19. Notably, 7 out of 38 compounds showed efficacies in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 in Vero cells. Three of these were also found to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in human Calu-3 cells. Furthermore, three drug combinations showed strong synergistic effects in SARS-CoV-2 inhibition at their clinically achievable concentrations.
Shahhamzehei et al., In Silico and In Vitro Identification of Pan-Coronaviral Main Protease Inhibitors from a Large Natural Product Library, Pharmaceuticals, doi:10.3390/ph15030308
The main protease (Mpro or 3CLpro) in coronaviruses represents a promising specific drug target as it is essential for the cleavage of the virus polypeptide and has a unique cleavage site that does not exist in human host proteases. In this study, we explored potential natural pan-coronavirus drugs using in vitro and in silico approaches and three coronavirus main proteases as treatment targets. The PyRx program was used to screen 39,442 natural-product-like compounds from the ZINC database and 121 preselected phytochemicals from medicinal plants with known antiviral activity. After assessment with Lipinski’s rule of five, molecular docking was performed for the top 33 compounds of both libraries. Enzymatic assays were applied for the top candidates from both in silico approaches to test their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. The four compounds (hypericin, rosmarinic acid, isorhamnetin, and luteolin) that most efficiently inhibited SARS-CoV-2 Mpro in vitro were further tested for their efficacy in inhibiting Mpro of SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. Microscale thermophoresis was performed to determine dissociation constant (Kd) values to validate the binding of these active compounds to recombinant Mpro proteins of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, and MERS-CoV. The cytotoxicity of hypericin, rosmarinic acid, isorhamnetin, and luteolin was assessed in human diploid MRC-5 lung fibroblasts using the resazurin cell viability assay to determine their therapeutic indices. Sequence alignment of Mpro of SARS-CoV-2 demonstrated 96.08%, 50.83%, 49.17%, 48.51%, 44.04%, and 41.06% similarity to Mpro of other human-pathogenic coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, and HCoV-229E, respectively). Molecular docking showed that 12 out of 121 compounds were bound to SARS-CoV-2 Mpro at the same binding site as the control inhibitor, GC376. Enzyme inhibition assays revealed that hypericin, rosmarinic acid, isorhamnetin, and luteolin inhibited Mpro of SARS-CoV-2, while hypericin and isorhamnetin inhibited Mpro of SARS-CoV-1; hypericin showed inhibitory effects toward Mpro of MERS-CoV. Microscale thermophoresis confirmed the binding of these compounds to Mpro with high affinity. Resazurin assays showed that rosmarinic acid and luteolin were not cytotoxic toward MRC-5 cells, whereas hypericin and isorhamnetin were slightly cytotoxic. We demonstrated that hypericin represents a potential novel pan-anti-coronaviral agent by binding to and inhibiting Mpro of several human-pathogenic coronaviruses. Moreover, isorhamnetin showed inhibitory effects toward SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 Mpro, indicating that this compound may have some pan-coronaviral potential. Luteolin had inhibitory effects against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro.
Flores-Félix et al., Consumption of Phenolic-Rich Food and Dietary Supplements as a Key Tool in SARS-CoV-19 Infection, Foods, doi:10.3390/foods10092084
The first cases of COVID-19, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2, were reported in December 2019. The vertiginous worldwide expansion of SARS-CoV-2 caused the collapse of health systems in several countries due to the high severity of the COVID-19. In addition to the vaccines, the search for active compounds capable of preventing and/or fighting the infection has been the main direction of research. Since the beginning of this pandemic, some evidence has highlighted the importance of a phenolic-rich diet as a strategy to reduce the progression of this disease, including the severity of the symptoms. Some of these compounds (e.g., curcumin, gallic acid or quercetin) already showed capacity to limit the infection of viruses by inhibiting entry into the cell through its binding to protein Spike, regulating the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, disrupting the replication in cells by inhibition of viral proteases, and/or suppressing and modulating the host’s immune response. Therefore, this review intends to discuss the most recent findings on the potential of phenolics to prevent SARS-CoV-2.
Please send us corrections, updates, or comments. c19early involves the extraction of 100,000+ datapoints from thousands of papers. Community updates help ensure high accuracy. Treatments and other interventions are complementary. All practical, effective, and safe means should be used based on risk/benefit analysis. No treatment or intervention is 100% available and effective for all current and future variants. We do not provide medical advice. Before taking any medication, consult a qualified physician who can provide personalized advice and details of risks and benefits based on your medical history and situation. FLCCC and WCH provide treatment protocols.
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