Elderberry, interferon can cure nCoV infection The article presents an overview of novel Coronavirus infection covering transmission, symptoms, diagnosis, and updates on research work to develop an effective drug. Coronavirus infection is caused in animals but when it infects a human it can cause mild respiratory infections. Since December 2019, many cases of coronavirus infection were reported in China. This was a new type of viral infection named as a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) started spreading in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province after people developed pneumonia without a clear cause and treatments were not effective. This virus is thought to have an animal origin and must have evolved that it became deadly to humans. The virus spread to all parts of China and other parts of the world in Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania. The human-to-human spread has been confirmed in China, Germany, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States. On 30 January 2020, coronavirus was designated a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). Out of 8235 confirmed cases of infection, of which 8,124 were within the mainland of China and the number of deaths was 814 as of 10 February 2020.
Transmission The virus can transmit from human to human and it can also come from seafood. As per established infection can result in 1.4 to 3.8 new cases and it can be transmitted along a chain of four people. Animals sold for food are believed to be the main source of infection because many first infected individuals who were workers at Huanan Seafood Market. In 2003, a market selling the live animal for food was found to be the source of transmission – such markets are found to a breeding place for novel pathogens. However, some of the researchers have suggested that Huanan Seafood Market may not be the main source of viral infection. When a person gets infected with coronavirus it might take 2-10 days to get symptoms. Initially, it is very difficult to tell whether a person is suffering from a viral infection. Symptoms The symptoms are similar to influenza and initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, dry cough, the problem in breathing and respiratory issues. Severe infection can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure, and death. Upper respiratory symptoms like running nose, sneezing, and sore throat are less common. Diagnosis According to WHO, testing for nCoV infection should be done at a specialized lab using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR). The test is done on respiratory samples for individuals who suspected to be infected with the virus. Blood samples are tested for asymptomatic individuals within the first week of the illness and then another sample can be taken 3-4 weeks later. To control the outbreak, the diagnosis of infected individuals must be done as early as possible. Treatment Many doctors believe that there is no effective treatment for novel coronavirus infection and one can only take Over the Counter drugs to get relief. Doctors recommend taking a lot of fluids and complete bed rest during any kind of flu-like infection. A seriously infected person is hospitalized to curtail their symptoms with management drugs. WHO recommends regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing. One must avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms. Using masks to cover the nose and mouth while going outside could also help to prevent viral infection. Elderberry and interferon therapy Many fruits like elderberry and grape may hold the key to the treatment of nCoV viral infection. Elderberry contains a flavonoid called Cyanidin-3-sambubioside which acts as a neuraminidase inhibitor, which inhibits the production of viral neuraminidase enzyme. This enzyme is used by nCoV to replicate in the human body and its inhibition can stop the infection. Many antiviral drugs like oseltamivir and Zanamivir used for influenza and Swine flu can work in the same manner. Taking berries rich in Cyanidin-3-sambubioside might reduce or prevent infection. Interferon therapy can also cure nCoV infection by regulating the action of several genes that control the secretion of numerous cellular proteins that affect growth. Interferon is signal proteins that are produced in the human body in response to viral infection. These act as a signal to the immune system to fight against any type of infection. An enzyme protein kinase R is produced by interferon to increase the synthesis of protein and protects body cells against viral infections. Interferon induces RNAse L which destroys RNA to inhibit protein synthesis for viral and host genes. Viral replication is thus disabled. Protein p53 and other useful proteins are produced by interferons that help to kill virus-infected cells and the recovery process is enhanced. The interferon beta-1b, which is generally used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis may be useful for the treatment of nCoV viral infection. The National Medical Products Association of China has approved an anti-viral drug Favilavir as a treatment for coronavirus. A clinical trial on 70 patients shows its effectiveness with minimum side effects. (compiled from Clinical Trials Arena and www.pharmaceutical-technology.com) The treatment of nCoV can be better understood by finding the ancestral tree of the mutation history of its family of viruses using gene sequencing. Accurate gene sequencing can be done using supercomputers and it would find out gene sequencing algorithms. It might be possible to come up with a vaccine using Artificial Intelligence software. According to researchers at Flinders University (Australia) developed a better flu vaccine using AI software program called Search Algorithm for Ligands. This software can identify new drugs but also has come up with better human immune drugs that currently existed. AI and supercomputers can cut down the amount of time and money spent on creating new drugs. Berry and interferon benefit can be taken by patients to fight against nCoV infection.