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Iota-Carrageenan Inhibits Replication of the SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern Omicron BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5

Setz et al., Nutraceuticals, doi:10.3390/nutraceuticals3030025
Jul 2023  
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In Vitro study showing that iota-carrageenan inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication for omicron variants BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5. Iota-carrageenan was more effective than kappa- and lambda-carrageenan.
15 preclinical studies support the efficacy of iota-carrageenan for COVID-19:
Setz et al., 5 Jul 2023, peer-reviewed, 15 authors.
In Vitro studies are an important part of preclinical research, however results may be very different in vivo.
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Iota-Carrageenan Inhibits Replication of the SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern Omicron BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5
Christian Setz, Maximilian Große, Maria Fröba, Janina Auth, Pia Rauch, Alexandra Herrmann, Arne Cordsmeier, Armin Ensser, Michael Schindler, Martina Morokutti-Kurz, Philipp Graf, Benedikt Engel, Eva Prieschl-Grassauer, Andreas Grassauer, Ulrich Schubert
Nutraceuticals, doi:10.3390/nutraceuticals3030025
Even with its endemic transition, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a public health threat, particularly in the light of emerging variants of concern (VoCs) and the need for pandemic preparedness in the future. In November 2021, the SARS-CoV-2 VoC Omicron emerged and its subvariants BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5 became predominant. Although the protease inhibitor Paxlovid ® and the polymerase inhibitors Molnupiravir and Remdesivir were approved as specific antiviral treatment options for COVID-19 patients in the early stages after infection, effective prophylactically acting substances without adverse effects are not available yet. In a recent study, we demonstrated that iotacarrageenan, a sulfated polysaccharide extracted from red seaweed, efficiently inhibits the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan Type and the VoCs Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. Now, we extended this study by investigating the antiviral effects of iota-, lambda-and kappa-carrageenans on the VoC Omicron subvariants BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5. Using a VoC Omicron BA.1 spike pseudotyped murine leukemia virus (BA.1 MLV OM VLP) as well as patient-derived SARS-CoV-2 Omicron isolates BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5 (SARS-CoV-2 OM BA.1 , SARS-CoV-2 OM BA.2 and SARS-CoV-2 OM BA.5 ), we demonstrate that iota-carrageenan exhibits similar antiviral activity against all analyzed Omicron subvariants. As with other VoCs shown before, the biologically inert iota-carrageenan was more efficient than kappa-and lambda-carrageenan. Altogether, these results confirm that, independent of the current and potential future variants, the physical barrier provided by iota-carrageenan might be applicable for prophylaxis and early treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors have read the journal's policy and declare that the authors Andreas Grassauer, Eva Prieschl-Grassauer, Philipp Graf and Martina Morokutti-Kurz are employed by Marinomed Biotech AG. Andreas Grassauer and Eva Prieschl-Grassauer are co-founders of Marinomed Biotech AG. Andreas Grassauer, Eva Prieschl-Grassauer and Martina Morokutti-Kurz are the inventors of a patent submission related to the content of the manuscript; the number of this patent application is EP20186334. The funders had no role in the design of the study, in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data, in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.
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